Centre Statement: IIHF moving World Championship away from Belarus

We have been closely following in the media the latest developments regarding the organisation of the 2021 Hockey World Championship. We have also well noted the pressure from sponsors and civil society to relocate the event to another country.

As recently reported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the human rights situation continues to deteriorate in Belarus, particularly with respect to peaceful assembly.

We are concerned about the potential for further rights abuses in the months ahead in Belarus and we welcome the Council decision to move the 2021 World Championship.

At the Centre, we believe all nations and localities should be able to bid and host events such as the IIHF World Championship and bring these celebrations of human achievement to their people, provided that before doing so, they conduct human rights due diligence to identify and prevent risks, and ensure an event that is safe and positive for all.

To enable this, the Centre works with sport bodies to help them embed human rights requirements into their statutes, policies and event bidding / hosting requirements. We have a suite of tools and guides to help sport identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for its impacts on human rights, including in their major events.  Prior to the awarding of its future events, our recommendation to IIHF is undertake this work. 

The Centre offers a wide range of tools and expertise, which is offered as a public good to sport organisations.

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