Commentary : FIFA and the IOC's reporting tools can help provide an avenue for human rights complaints

Author: Daniela Heerdt, Rights as Usual, Published on: 13 September 2018

"FIFA and the IOC’s Human Rights Reporting Tools – a Flower in the Remedy Bouquet", 9 September 2018

As awareness of the adverse human rights impact of mega-sporting events began to spread, international sports organizations stepped up their efforts to protect human rights. In 2017, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) adopted new bidding regulations for the 2026 World Cup, which explicitly refer to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (hereafter the UNGPs)...The Host City Contract for the 2024 Olympic Games is the first ever to mention human rights standards, including the UNGPs...It is remarkable that both tools appear easily accessible. The online forms are available in multiple languages...In addition to the online form, FIFA allows for complaints to be communicated through generic FIFA email addresses, bilateral exchanges with FIFA, or via the media. Other important features are that both provide an option for confidentiality. The IOC claims that the complainant’s identity will not be shared with persons beyond those dealing with the complaint without explicit consent. With regard to the FIFA mechanism, it is even possible to submit complaints anonymously. However, the scope of these mechanisms is limited, in particular that of the IOC, as it only addresses Olympic Games-related issues...Nevertheless, reporting tools in general can form an essential part of the “bouquet of remedies” promoted by the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. 

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Related companies: FIFA