Representatives from the Organising Committees of upcoming Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) events have met with experts in London to discuss ensuring human rights are essential in the bid processes and delivery of major sports competitions.
The talks, which began yesterday and concluded today, were attended by members of Bahamas 2017, the next edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games, Gold Coast 2018, Belfast 2021 and Durban 2022.
They are now set to contribute to the development of principles and strategies to safeguard human rights, according to the CGF, with a key focus on the rights of children.
Participants at the meeting from the respective Organising Committees spoke with UNICEF, one of the leading child rights charities, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and fellow international children’s rights organisation Terre des Hommes.
A range of topics were on the agenda, including youth empowerment to sustainability, procurement to security and community engagement.
It is hoped that, once the summit has been evaluated, the steps taken at the meeting can be passed on to organisers of other sporting events and governing bodies, persuading them to take a human rights-based approach.
“A key priority of our strategic plan, Transformation 2022, is to live our values of humanity, equality and destiny and to truly understand and maximise the positive impacts of our spectacular sporting events on all athletes, communities and citizens,” CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said.
“As a movement uniquely underpinned by the Commonwealth Charter – and its focus on human rights, democracy, prosperity and good governance - we are truly motivated by our obligations and responsibilities to respect, support and actively promote human rights through the bidding, coordination and delivery of Commonwealth sporting events.”
The meeting follows the Human Rights Approach, which was convened and implemented ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, considered one of the best-ever editions of the CGF’s quadrennial flagship sporting event.
“Together with the CGF we have made excellent progress in bringing the issue of child rights to the sporting community - this week’s meeting represents another huge opportunity to work through some of the key issues regarding human rights and the delivery of Mega Sporting Events,” Andres Franco, UNICEF Deputy Director, Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division added.“
"Child rights considerations can and should be a central consideration in organising such events.
"I’m delighted that we’re working so closely with the CGF and other partners to ensure that the protection of children remains at the heart of the planning, delivery and legacies of future sporting events.”