The Centre for Sport and Human Rights (CSHR) is pleased to welcome UEFA’s initiative to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) at their flagship club competition matches this week, offering a significant platform to raise awareness about human rights and connect universal principles with diverse audiences. This initiative, announced as part of UEFA’s renewed partnership with CSHR, builds on a reaffirmation of UEFA’s own human rights commitments at last week’s Sporting Chance Forum and follows the recent unveiling of a Human Rights Declaration for UEFA EURO 2024.
For CSHR, this marks a high-profile culmination of a series of activities linked to the UN’s Human Rights 75 initiative. Over the 75 days leading up to Human Rights Day, 10 December 2023, CSHR, together with the UN Human Rights Office, published 75 short social media videos from athletes who have spoken out on social issues and human rights. This campaign - The 75 - provided a platform for a wide range of athletes from a diverse array of sports to use their voices in support of human rights, including Caster Semenya, Gary Lineker, Juan Mata, Desiree Henry, Alexander Mattison, Teresa Perales and Rasheedat Ajibade.
CSHR also developed, together with its Advisory Council and Engaged Organisations, a ‘collective pledge’ to support the UN’s pledging campaign and drafted pledging guidance for sports bodies that wish to make their own pledges. CSHR’s main gathering of 2023, the Sporting Chance Forum, was an official Human Rights 75 event and concluded with pledges to support #TeamHumanRights. Mary Harvey, CSHR’s Chief Executive, also participated in the UN’s High Level Event to commemorate the anniversary.
This important milestone for human rights has also provided an opportunity for actors across the sport ecosystem to launch their own human rights commitments, with the German Olympic Committee notably adopting a human rights policy statement and the Sport and Rights Alliance offering a pledge on behalf of its civil society members. The Gymnastics Ethics Foundation took the opportunity to highlight the importance of implementing human rights standards in gymnastics, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) reiterated its commitment to human rights, and the World Players Association published a video to mark Human Rights Day.
CSHR looks forward to building on this momentum and contributing to broad efforts to reinvigorate the UDHR and advance its promise of freedom, equality, and justice for all.