Major sporting events and human rights: Where are we now?

A report prepared by DLA Piper for the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights, has highlighted the importance for sports governing bodies of identifying human rights risks in candidate cities for major sporting events.

The report, which reviewed information published by the United Nations Human Rights Council ("UN") and International Labour Organisation ("ILO") found these sources provided an important starting point for event-specific due diligence. Analysing UN and ILO literature on the Bahamas, the UK, Australia and South Africa, all of which are set to host major sporting events over the next two years, the report outlines potential human rights challenges in each country.

The report highlights the importance for all stakeholders of conducting appropriate due diligence when it comes to major sporting events. "In recent years we have seen a greater focus on social and human rights issues in the context of global events, and - once risks are identified - putting in place appropriate processes to mitigate them. International sports bodies are increasingly looking to include human rights criteria into their bidding requirements " commented Nick Fitzpatrick, Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper's Media, Sport and Entertainment Sector.

The Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights is a multi-stakeholder initiative working to ensure that actors involved in staging an event fully embrace and operationalise their respective human rights responsibilities throughout the mega-sporting event lifecycle. DLA Piper has been advising the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights since 2016.

Nicolas Patrick, DLA's International Head of Responsible Business said: "The trend in sport is consistent with a global trend toward businesses taking an increasingly sophisticated approach to managing human rights risks."

The report can be downloaded here.