United 2026 and Children

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is one of the first mega sporting event to include extensive human rights elements in its bidding requirements, requiring bidding countries to document human rights risks and propose a strategy to prevent and mitigate them. The winning bidder, the United 2026 Bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States of America, proposed an extensive human rights strategy which among other aspects, addresses children’s rights and introduces a new human rights Scorecard.

The Centre for Sport and Human Rights, in consultation with 30 leading child rights and sport experts, has prepared and presented to FIFA a set of recommended ‘Indicator Questions’ on child rights for consideration in the United 2026 Human Rights Scorecard.

Children and Mega Sporting Events

In addition to the many positive benefits of Mega Sporting Events (MSEs), it is increasingly acknowledged that children and young people are especially vulnerable during MSEs and attention must be given to preventing and mitigating actual and potential negative human and child rights impacts. These can include experiences of violence, harassment, abuse, child labour, trafficking, and sexual exploitation.

Digital Consultation for candidate host cities

The Centre for Sport and Human Rights in collaboration with UNICEF in Canada, Mexico, and the USA organized a Digital Consultation focused on children in relation to hosting Mega Sporting Events at the city level to help cities who may host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ understand the following:

  1. The impact mega sporting events can have on the lives of children and their families
  2. What steps cities can take to ensure the safety and security and inclusive participation of children and their families as spectators, athletes, and community members at large
  3. Good practices to incorporate child rights principles that have worked in other cities and countries

Agenda is available for download here

Presentations available for download in:

English Español | Français

Day One Welcome:

Day One Session One:

Day One Session Two Risks for Children:

Day One Session Three London 2012 Best Practices:

Day One Session Four Children as stakeholders:

Day One Closing:

Day Two Session One The Power of Sport:

Day Two Session Two Safeguarding:

Day Two Session Three Legacy:

Day Two Next Steps:

Online Course on Children and MSEs

The Centre for Sport and Human Rights is developing a course to support those with responsibilities for the planning and delivery of Mega Sporting Events. It will:  

  • Raise awareness of the rights and issues related to children in the context of MSEs.
  • Develop the knowledge and provide access to resources on child rights and well-being.
  • Facilitate the translation of knowledge and available resources into practical skills that can be applied in the planning and delivery of MSEs.
Registration for online course coming soon.

Other Online Resources on Children and MSEs

Please, check the content below to deepen your knowledge and understanding on child rights, the impacts throughout the lifecycle of a mega-sporting event on children and best practices for risk mitigation and leveraging opportunities for positive transformation.





UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative

Child Friendly Cities Initiative UNICEF


Children and MSEs (general)

Recommendations for Consideration in the United 2026 Human Rights Scorecard: Action Plan on Children

Child Focused Questions for Inclusion in the United 2026 Human Rights Scorecard Guidance Note

Risk to Children in Relation to Mega-Sports Events

Protecting Children in the Sports Environment: Keynote at ISPCAN 2020 Qatar

Children’s Rights in the Sports Context

Children’s Rights in Sports Principles

Children Rights and Mega Sporting Events in 2014

Human Rights and MSEs

Games Time: Planning and Acting to Respect Human Rights in Mega-Sporting Events

The Mega-Sporting Event Lifecycle - Embedding Human Rights from Vision to Legacy

Children and Youth Participation

Child and Youth Participation – Options for Action

TED: How cities can help design cities - Mara Mintzer

Safeguarding and Protection

FIFA Guardians – Child Safeguarding Toolkit

Child Safeguarding Toolkit for UEFA Member Associations

International Safeguards for Children in Sport

IOC Safeguarding Toolkit

Protecting Children from Violence in Sport

Playing it Safe - A glimpse of the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, Including Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Other Child Sexual Abuse Material in the context of Sports

Safe Sport International Principles 

Child Safeguarding toolkit for Business 

International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement


Rio 2016 Olympics: The Exclusion Games

Tackling Trafficking in Human Beings and Forced Labour: Lessons Learned from the London 2012 Olympic Games

Child-Friendly Cities and Communities Handbook

Breaking Records: Child Rights Violations During the Rio 2016 Olympics

United Nations Frameworks

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Child-Friendly Version of the Child Rights Convention

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: An Introduction Video

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