NI’s major sports bodies adopt human rights declaration
Five of Northern Ireland’s major sports bodies have signed up to a new Declaration on Sport and Human Rights, which was launched on Monday (29th). The document, which was drafted by the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council and the NI Human Rights Commission, has so far been signed up to by the Irish Football Association Foundation, Ulster GAA, Ulster Rugby and Belfast Giants’ owner, Odyssey Trust.
The Declaration acknowledges sport’s potential to advance the human rights of everyone, and sets out a number of commitments to ensuring that sport is used to advance the protection of all who are impacted by sport. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, was in attendance to present the Declaration.
Chief Executive, Dr David Russell, stated:
“The Commission welcomes the commitment of Northern Ireland’s major sports bodies to respect and protect human rights. This Declaration recognises the responsibility of sportspeople to challenge abuses and support an ethos of dignity and respect, tolerance, understanding, equality and fairness within sport. The sport and human rights movement has been gaining momentum internationally, with the establishment of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights in Geneva last year.
“For several years, the Commission has worked with the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council to promote this work and it is great that we now have the support of other sports bodies here today. We look forward to inviting many more sports bodies on board in the coming months.”
Chair of the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council, Robert McVeigh, stated:
“Today’s launch of a Declaration on Sport and Human Rights is the culmination of three years’ work and a legacy of the bid to bring the Commonwealth Youth Games to Belfast in 2021. We have been delighted by the positive response of the sporting community towards the Declaration, both in Northern Ireland and further afield, and we wish to applaud the leadership shown by the organisations joining us today. We acknowledge the continued support of the NI Human Rights Commission and the Commonwealth Sports Movement and look forward to playing our part over the coming years.”
Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Officer, David Grevemberg CBE, said:
“We are delighted to see the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council and their local stakeholders developing and adopting a Declaration, which acknowledges Commonwealth sport’s unique potential to respect, protect, promote and advance universal human rights for everyone.
“This contributes to the broader Commonwealth Sports Movement’s global human rights efforts by setting out a number of focus areas and principles that looks to ensure that sport is used in the first instance to protect all who are impacted by it. Uniting and inspiring diverse nations and cultures through sport is at the heart of what we do - and the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council and the NI Human Rights Commission deserve huge credit for their on-the-ground efforts in this area. We hope other sport organisations in Northern Ireland and indeed across the Commonwealth and beyond will be inspired by or embed human rights as core element within their governance and management practices in the months ahead.”
At the launch, the UN Deputy Commissioner also announced the establishment of a new Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum, which will serve as a platform for sports bodies and clubs across NI to exchange knowledge and best practice on sport and human rights.
For more information or to sign up for the Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum, contact Zara Porter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
30 Apr 2019