Commentary: FIFA & 2026 World Cup winning bidder need to implement human rights standards to prevent digital & labour rights abuses
Author: Peter Micek, OpenGlobalRights, Published on: 16 May 2018
"FIFA 2018: digital rights are (finally) playable," 16 May 2018
Despite their focus on feats of human strength and endurance, mega sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup... raise... questions around digital rights... [For example]... [g]overnment-ordered network shutdowns, arrests and censorship of bloggers and protestors, and network neutrality violations all impede access to information and harm free expression and association during large scale events...
... [A]s a private business, FIFA has a responsibility to respect human rights and prevent and mitigate abuses. Reeling from scandals involving corruption, labor abuses, and other violations to human rights, including the right to housing, in April 2016 FIFA revised its statute to highlight the organization’s commitment to all internationally recognized human rights, and required human rights proposals in bids for the 2026 World Cup... Without safeguards, mega events could catalyze trends toward criminalization of information and communications technologies like the internet, and further marginalize at-risk communities through digital repression. For these reasons, the winning bidder for the 2026 World Cup needs to develop and implement standards that bring all aspects of the games under the international human rights framework.