MSE Host Cities and Countries Perspectives - From a Human Rights-Based Approach to a Game Changer Host

Session Summary

Staging Mega-Sporting Events takes enormous effort, planning, and preparation, and even more so to deliver them in a way that respects human rights, but the benefit for all people concerned cannot be underestimated.

The goal is for a world of sport that realises and achieves the many the social benefits these sporting competitions can offer. In ten years’ time, we need to move on from talking about issues such as athlete activism and protection, and instead progressed to discussions about the positive impact sport can have on people’s lives in an authentic way.

Media attention on the issue of human rights in sport is increasing, but it is still not part of the mainstream. A handbook developed by the Government of Austria is among several new resources and guidance documents that seek to address this gap.

In terms of next steps to help integrate human rights into MSE planning and delivery a number of key considerations were outlined by major event organisers during the session. They included the importance of:

  • Stakeholder engagement - many of the panellists, particularly major event organisers, emphasised the need for stakeholder engagement, particularly when it comes to relying on those with expertise or lived experience in certain areas, particularly from marginalised or vulnerable members of society.
  • An open and inclusive leadership culture – was highlighted as being invaluable when it comes to ensuring human rights are taken seriously in the planning, delivery and legacy of an event
  • Human rights being embedded across all policies and functional areas or departments. Everyone should be responsible for human rights and therefore it is an area where there needs to be organisation-wide accountability, with everyone understanding their responsibilities and taking action.
  • Resourcing – Providing proper resources and training for priority areas such as safeguarding or ethical sourcing ensures that human rights are respected inside an organisation and by partner organisations, and helps reinforce a culture that takes human rights efforts and considerations seriously.

The Centre’s guidance on the MSE Lifecycle and Games Time Risk can support stakeholders in embedded human rights throughout the sporting event lifecycle, from inception to legacy.