FDFA co-founds Centre for Sport and Human Rights Association

Press release, 08.07.2021

Created in 2018 on the initiative of different stakeholders engaged in dialogue about sport (governments, sports federations, international organisations, sponsors, civil society organisations, athletes' organisations, broadcasters), the Centre for Sport and Human Rights (CSHR) will become, on Thursday 8 July 2021, an independent association under Swiss law based in Geneva. The CSHR's principal objective – to improve the human rights situation in sport – is in line with the priorities of the FDFA's human rights guidelines.

As host state to numerous international sports federations, Switzerland is mobilising resources and joining forces with various stakeholders as a founding member of the CSHR. Switzerland's aim in joining the CSHR is to help it work effectively with all stakeholders in the global sport ecosystem in order to tackle urgent and complex human rights issues in sport.

While sport has the potential to promote human rights, sustainable development, solidarity and social inclusion, this potential can only be realised if respect for human rights is at the centre of sport governance and sport-related activities. The CSHR therefore seeks to improve the human rights situation in sport and to prevent and address potential human rights abuses against athletes, communities, workers, fans, the press and volunteers.

The CSHR works with all stakeholders to ensure that major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and World Cup, respect the human rights of everyone involved. To this end, it has developed targeted tools on a range of topics including the life cycle of major sporting events, children's rights and responses to COVID-19. The CSHR has also organised strategic meetings with stakeholders who requested advice and assistance to improve their own human rights performance and has proactively stepped in to address urgent cases affecting the lives and safety of athletes and others.

For example, the CSHR contributed to FIFA's deliberations on its human rights policy and was instrumental in FIFA becoming the first sports body to adopt a human rights policy and integrate human rights into the bidding requirements for future events.

Switzerland's support for this initiative is in line with the human rights objectives of its Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23, which are reflected in the Guidelines on Human Rights 2021−24. One of the guidelines' priorities is for Switzerland to work to ensure that human rights are also observed in sport. In particular, Switzerland will work in the years ahead to ensure that major sporting events and associated business activities take place in full compliance with human rights and will help to promote a tool for host cities and countries to which it has contributed.

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs