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Article

16 Dec 2015

Author:
Owen Gibson, Guardian (UK)

Fifa appoint Harvard professor to improve human rights policies

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Crisis-hit Fifa has appointed a Harvard professor to oversee an independent review that will recommend ways of embedding United Nations human rights protocols into its policies and practices. With labour abuses in Qatar under intense scrutiny in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, Fifa and other sports governing bodies have come under pressure to consider the human rights implications of their hosting decisions...Fifa has hired the Harvard professor John Ruggie, who wrote the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ...to oversee the review. He will have access to Fifa documents and personnel to develop the report and deliver his conclusions by March 2016, weeks after Fifa is due to elect a new president...The new process is likely to be viewed with some scepticism given Fifa’s track record in using independent reviews – such as Mark Pieth’s governance review – as a cover for inaction...As with any such process, I fully recognise that there will be challenges and complex change takes time,” said Ruggie. “However, this has the potential to set the bar for other global sports organisations, and place respect for human rights front and centre for a broad range of entities involved in global sporting events.”

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