QOC signs Joint Sport Pledge on Inclusion and Protection of Refugees

The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) has signed the Joint Sport Pledge on Inclusion and Protection of Refugees to strengthen its commitment to supporting refugees through sport.

The Sport Pledge was announced at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, and brings together sports organisations and other entities committed to creating a better world for refugees. 

As a founding partner of the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF), the QOC has long demonstrated its belief in the role that sport can play in inspiring hope and creating positive change. As a signatory to the Sport Pledge, QOC commits to: 

-Promote an enabling environment, including policies, that provide access to safe sport. 

-Promote and provide opportunities for improved skills and pathways in and through sport. 

-Use targeted communication, evidence, and advocacy. 

-Strengthen partnerships and coordination efforts. 

The Joint Sport Pledge on Inclusion and Protection of Refugees. © QOC
The Joint Sport Pledge on Inclusion and Protection of Refugees. © QOC

QOC President and ORF Board Member, H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani said: "The QOC firmly believes that everyone should have access to safe sport and the countless benefits it brings. Sport can change lives, unite people and bring hope to communities that need it most. Through its common language, it helps break down social and cultural barriers, creating a more inclusive and tolerant society. 

"The QOC is proud of the work we have done to support refugees through sport, and by signing the Sport Pledge, we are joining organisations around the world in strengthening our commitment to do even more. We are committed not only to supporting concrete initiatives but also to using our platform to advocate for more to be done to meet the needs of the millions of refugees around the world." 

In its role with the ORF, the QOC hosted the Olympic Refugee Team ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, providing the athletes with an elite training camp. The QOC also continues to provide support to the Afghan sports community and helps to facilitate dialogue between the IOC and Afghanistan. The Shine Project, a legacy of Rio 2016, also provided underprivileged young athletes from across Rio de Janeiro with the opportunity to train in Qatar's world-class facilities at the Aspire Academy, with specialised coaching and sports science support. 

The Global Refugee Forum (GRF) is the world's largest international gathering in support of refugees and the communities that host them. It brings together governments, international organizations, humanitarian and development agencies, international and regional financial institutions, regional organisations; local authorities; civil society; academics and other experts; the private sector, the media, members of host communities, sports organisations and refugees themselves to discuss how to address the growing challenges faced by refugees and the communities that host them.