Child Trafficking in the Global Sports Industry
The global commemoration of the 2020 International Human Rights Day focused on the area of building back better and more resilient societies post COVID-19.
But at Mission 89 – a global sport anti-trafficking group – prioritising human rights in sport is the key to a strong, sustainable recovery. According to a statement issued by the group, the time is now more than ever to step up leverage on sports to better protect human rights.
“Observing Human Rights Day on 10 December is an opportunity to recognise that each of us around the world has the right to live in peace without discrimination,” the statement signed by Holly West read in part.
It added: “Currently the question of the relationship between sport and the protection of human rights has never been higher on the international sport policy agenda. This increased interest reflects the integral role that sport plays in all our lives; the universality of sport is well-matched to the universality of the Declaration of Human Rights.
Highlighting and Clarifying the Issue Worldwide
Instilling a profound understanding and culture of human rights in sports at all levels will enhance the credibility of organised sport, but it will also help consolidate the framework necessary for sports to deliver benefits such as health, equality and inclusion and education."
Mission 89’s statement also underlined the overall positive impact relative to consolidating efforts in respecting rights citing the area of achieving a number of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs and benefit from the European Union Work Plan for sports 2021 – 2024.
The group also cited the centrality of the historic 2018 Tbilisi Declaration and the effect that it sought to achieve throughout the entire sporting ecosystem.
They stressed further that addressing inequalities by guaranteeing the application of human rights standards was crucial as the world looks to recover in a post-COVID climate. “Putting the human rights of every individual at the forefront of our redevelopment will help us build a world that is stronger and more sustainable,” Holly West said.
About International Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which every individual is entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or another status.
About Mission 89
Established in October 2017, Mission 89 takes its heritage from the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.
Their aim is to prevent the trafficking of minors in sport, they do this through research, education and advocacy for policies and regulations that safeguard children from exploitation.
According to the group, raising awareness remains a vital tool in understanding the ways in which young athletes can have their human rights violated in the pursuit of a career.
They have in the last two years of operation partnered among others with the African and European Unions and have rolled out the #NotInOurGame campaign on anti-trafficking straddling from Nigeria, Kenya to Italy.