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14 Mar 2017

FIFA Human Rights Advisory Board Operating Principles

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At its first meeting on 13-14 March 2017, the Advisory Board adopted by consensus the following set of principles and practices to guide its work and ensure its independence and responsiveness to critical human rights concerns of stakeholders:

  1. In offering guidance to FIFA, the Advisory Board will prioritize feedback and recommendations on issues that have the potential to involve the most severe human rights impacts. It will also provide views and recommendations to support the long-term effectiveness of the human rights policies and approaches within FIFA, and the importance of wider adoption of respect for human rights in each of FIFA's member associations.
  2. The Advisory Board acknowledges the value and importance of the work previously done by Professor John Ruggie and the guidance contained in his 2016 report, '"For the Game. For the World.": FIFA and Human Rights'. The Advisory Board will use the report as an anchor in its deliberations and consideration of FIFA's efforts to embed human rights into its global operations.
  3. The Board values the diversity and breadth of experience of its members, as well as their extensive networks with concerned stakeholder groups, including from international organizations, national governments, business, players, sports organizations and civil society.
  4. Members will share their views and opinions based on their individual expertise and knowledge, rather than their specific stakeholder affiliation.
  5. All members provide their time and expertise on a pro bono basis and none have a paid employment or consulting relationship with FIFA or any other football entity.
  6. To further preserve the independence of the Board, the members who are employed by FIFA corporate sponsors will recuse themselves from any discussions on topics that may touch on matters of commercial importance to their current employers, or issues that relate directly to their companies' operations.
  7. The Board Chair and Deputy Chair will be elected for an initial one-year term from members affiliated to independent or civil society organizations; members from FIFA corporate sponsors have chosen not to be considered for these roles.
  8. The Board is open to and encourages stakeholders? to share relevant information, views and concerns to inform its work, but it will not replace FIFA's own obligations to actively seek stakeholder feedback through formal stakeholder engagement processes, as FIFA further embeds respect for human rights into its organization.
  9. The Advisory Board will not act as a formal grievance channel for FIFA-related complaints. All complaints received by the Advisory Board, or its members, will be passed directly to FIFA's Sustainability and Diversity team for appropriate action. The Advisory Board however will be cognizant of FIFA's handling of complaints and the design and effectiveness of FIFA's grievance mechanisms fall within the scope of the work to be reviewed and commented on by the Advisory Board.
  10. The Advisory Board will liaise closely with the Human Rights Working Group of the FIFA Governance Committee. The Governance Committee is mandated to advise and assist FIFA's Council on, among other matters, human rights in connection with FIFA and its activities.#
  11. To ensure that the Advisory Board remains informed and up-to-date on the human rights issues being addressed by FIFA and to gauge its overall progress in embedding human rights policies and practices, the Board has elected to meet remotely on a regular basis, in addition to its in-person meetings in Zurich.
  12. In the interests of transparency and to encourage communication with stakeholders, the non-profit Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has kindly agreed to host a dedicated webpage and post materials on the work of the Advisory Board. This will complement materials posted directly on the FIFA website.