From Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2022, the Men’s World Cup will take place in Qatar. Even in the run-up to this event, it casts a large shadow, especially from a human rights perspective. In Qatar, for example, there will be serious violations of labor rights, but also of women’s and children’s rights.
fairplay has been addressing the issue of human rights and sustainable development in sport for years – at national, European and international level. Under the slogan Our game for human rights, we work together with an alliance of civil society actors to advocate for a sport that protects and respects human rights. The public and broad potential of sport is used to actively contribute to the realization of human rights and global justice in a spirit of partnership.
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Campaigns and public relations
The project will be presented shortly before the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP, April 6), in the form of a press conference on March 30, which will be attended by key stakeholders and funding bodies. Sports clubs across Austria will participate in the campaign around the IDSDP under the slogan “Our game for human rights”. Campaign materials and policies will be used to call for respect for human rights.
With regard to public relations, training courses for sports journalists will be offered (including ORF). There will be targeted media cooperation with Der Standard, radio FM4 and the ballesterer magazine, among others.
Based on a template for the implementation of human rights policies developed by the Working Group on Sport and Human Rights, Austrian sports federations will publicly commit to human rights and, for their part, advocate that human rights be taken seriously in award decisions by international federations. In addition, fact sheets are being developed to support federations in implementing grievance mechanisms or child protection strategies, for example. These activities are to be used by sports federations to take a positive step forward in public and to show that Austrian sports players and Austrian sports take responsibility.
Periodic background information on the topic will highlight the responsibilities and opportunities for various players to take action, and a focus booklet (dossier) will be produced in cooperation with Austrian human rights organizations, which will also be included in other media, such as ballesterer.
Dialogue and education
There will be a panel discussion in the Club 2×11 series of events at the Vienna Main Library, and in addition, a speakers’ tour through the provinces will provide information about the situation of the affected workers on site. Under the title Cup of Human Rights, a a soccer tournament will be organized with the diasporas from those nations that are most present in Qatar through labor migration. The largest migrant communities in the emirate are from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Egypt. Testimonials from the world of sport will also be taking part.
The fairplay action weeks in October 2022, in which all clubs in the first and second national men’s soccer leagues and the national women’s league will participate, are to be held under the title “Our game for human rights”. As part of the this human world film festival, there will be a focus on sport and human rights in the fall of 2022. Together with civil society partners, workshops for youth and young adults (including apprentices) will be offered that focus on sports, labor rights, children’s rights, women’s rights, LGBTQI+ rights and global justice.
Political work and networking
Together with the Permanent Representation to the EU (OV) in Brussels and parliamentarians of the European Parliament, the activities in Austrian sport – based on the working group Sport and Human Rights – are presented as good practices, at the same time looking at how actors of the EU can positively influence future award decisions. On the level of the Austrian Parliament, an enquete is planned in the second half of the year, where first achievements of the Austrian sport will be presented and a further roadmap will be presented. Together with international partners (Centre for Sport and Human Rights, Terre des Hommes International & Germany, Amnesty International, Sport and Rights Alliance) there will be networking on current issues as well as input from project partners at EU and UN level.