Soccerex will break new ground when it hosts a panel session on Mega Sporting Events and human rights at its Global Convention in Manchester on Wednesday, September 6.
Patrick Gasser, UEFA’s Senior Manager for Football and Social Responsibility, and Guy Price, Head of Sport for Unicef UK, will be amongst the speakers on the panel which will take place in the ‘Love Football Zone’ at 11am.
The panel will focus on recent advances made by sports governing bodies, including UEFA and FIFA, around the protection and preservation of human rights when planning and delivering Mega Sporting Events, such as the Olympic Games, World Cup finals and European Championships.
There has been growing pressure on governing bodies to implement such changes. More than 22,000 families were displaced during preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil, while the conditions of workers at construction sites for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cup finals have come under widespread scrutiny.
UEFA has become one of the first Mega Sporting Event organisers to incorporate human and child rights right from the start of the bidding process, in its preparations for Euro 2024, while FIFA has introduced the Decent Work Monitoring System to monitor and address such issues. Meanwhile the International Olympics Committee (IOC) has incorporated specific human rights criteria into the Host City Contracts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics to be hosted in Paris and Los Angeles respectively.
The panel will be moderated by Piara Powar, Executive Director for FARE, and also feature Marc Joly from international human rights organisations Terre des Hommes and John Wroe, CEO and Co-founder of Street Child United.
Marc Joly leads the ‘Children Win’ campaign for Terre des Hommes, which focuses on the rights of children around Mega Sporting Events. He said: “We welcome the positive steps made by governing bodies over the last year, but promises on paper are not enough. We are closely monitoring the implementation of these human rights criteria, and calling for more to be done around those events where no such commitments have been made.”