Mexico promotes dialogue on the importance of child-related sport in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean
The study "Overview of the Sports Related Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children" was presented and the challenges of the region on the subject were studied in depth, as well as best practices to address them.
The exercise was led by the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon. Twenty CELAC member countries and more than 40 officials from those states participated; specialists from the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, the Barcelona Foundation, UNICEF, the Caribbean Agency for Sport and Development, as well as the heads of the Undersecretariat for Latin America and the Caribbean and AMEXCID (Mexican Agency for International Cooperation for Development.
A virtual discussion was held on the "Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the field of sports and human rights of children in Latin America and the Caribbean", positioned in the activities of the pro tempore Presidency of Mexico before the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard opened the meeting by highlighting the importance of sport and physical activity for girls and boys in the region as well as its role as a builder of peace and promoter of nutrition and physical and mental health. He added the need to resume children’s sports activities, after the COVID outbreak, to guarantee the full enjoyment of the rights of children without placing their health at risk. Likewise, the Chief Executive of the Centre for Sports and Human Rights (CSHR), Mary Harvey, as well as the General Director of the Barcelona Foundation, María Valles Segura, and the UNICEF Representative in Mexico, Christian Skoog, spoke about the importance of analysing the situation of children and sports, in the midst of the pandemic, as well as the amount of institutional efforts to put this issue at the centre of global discussion.
During the event, CSHR and its specialists presented to the membership the main findings of their study "Overview of the Sports Related Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children", emphasizing the growth in inequality in the sport sector in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, the financial implications and the future of sports activities. The discussion was attended by 20 delegations from CELAC member states, made up of authorities from the health, education and sports sectors. The meeting was moderated by the head of the Department of Diplomacy and Sports Cooperation of the Mexican Agency for Cooperation International for Development (AMEXCID), María José Alcalá Izguerra, prominent Mexican Olympic athlete with the participation of the Executive Director of the AMEXCID, Laura Elena Carrillo Cubillas, and was closed by the Under Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga.
The first meeting of its kind focused on: the reactivation of sport for children after COVID-19; the provision of tools to ensure that organised sport for children implements protection policies and procedures; prioritising physical and mental well-being; promoting inclusion; and the full respect and protection of the rights of children. The participating countries shared their challenges and good practices.
CELAC is the regional political dialogue and agreement mechanism that exclusively brings together the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This mechanism is chaired by Mexico during 2020, and at the proposal of Paraguay and after reaching the consensus of the membership, the Mexican presidency will be extended one more year with the objective of implementing the entire Work Plan proposed by Mexico, as well as coordinating the work for COVID-19 care in the region.