Major sporting events
Human rights organizations and other NGOs, media, unions have reported human rights abuses caused by the impacts of massive infrastructure projects carried out in preparation for major sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Many of these allegations involve abuses committed by or with the complicity of private companies. But major sporting events do provide also opportunities to push for change. This page features some of the main developments and coverage on human rights related to major recent or future sporting events in countries such as Azerbaijan, Brazil, Qatar, Russia and Japan, highlighting the role and responsibilities of companies operating there.
Browse by events
Minsk 2019 European Games
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018
Formula One 2017 (USA, Mexico, Brazil, UAE)
Formula One 2018 (Australia, China, Bahrain, Azerbaijan)
- 📄 Latest news on major sporting events
- 📄 Brazil 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2014 World Cup
- 📄 Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup
- 📄 Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games
- 📄 Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
- 📄 Labour rights and the Qatar World Cup 2022
- 📄 Business, human rights, and the Baku 2015 European Games
- 📄 Russia: Human rights abuses related to 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi
Related stories and components
International coalition urges Amaury Sport Organisation to adopt human rights policy ahead of Saudi-hosted Dakar Rally
Ahead of the 2020 Dakar Rally, hosted in Saudi Arabia 5-17 January, a coalition of 13 international human rights organisations wrote jointly to organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) urging them to speak out about human rights abuses in the host...
Qatar: Liverpool FC expresses concern over migrant worker deaths ahead of Club World Cup; FIFA responded
Liverpool Football Club have set out their position regarding well-documented abuses of migrant workers' rights and deaths in Qatar. The statement from Liverpool CEO Peter Moore comes as the team prepare to play in Fifa's Club World Cup, hosted by the...
Author: Dutch News
"Human rights groups call on Ajax shareholders to question trip to Qatar," 30 Oct 2019...
- Related in-depth areas: Labour rights and the Qatar World Cup 2022 Latest news & company responses: Migrant workers in Qatar & the UAE Major sporting events
- Related companies: Ajax FC
Qatar: Unexplained death of World Cup stadium worker one of hundreds dismissed as "natural" by authorities; FIFA responded
On 23 June Rupchandra Rumba, a Nepali labourer working on a football stadium for the World Cup 2022, died during his sleep. His death was attributed to "acute cardio respiratory failure due to natural cause[s]”; one of many such deaths recorded as ...
Qatar: Guardian investigation finds that migrant workers continue to die from ‘heat stress’, fatalies not adequately investigated by govt.
In October 2019 a Guardian investigation into working conditions for migrant workers in Qatar found that hundreds of labourers are estimated to be dying from 'heat stress' every year. ...
Author: The Washington Post (US)
“Rights group asks for worker-safety probe at Tokyo Olympics”, 5 June 2019...
- Related stories: Japan: Report alleges low pay, overwork and poor access to grievance mechanisms for construction workers at Tokyo Olympics sites
- Related in-depth areas: Major sporting events
Commentary on sport & human rights highlights need for a focus on major sporting events & day-to-day practice by grassroots players
Author: Steve Gibbon, Ergon Associates
Much of what has been written and said about sport in the world of business and human rights has tended to focus on Mega Sporting Events, in particular [...] the Olympic and Paralympic games in Beijing, London Rio, the Winter games in Sochi and FIFA...
Briefing reviews measures taken by sponsors of the Swedish Football Association to address human rights risks associated with 2018 FIFA World Cup
Swedwatch's latest briefing "The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia: Sponsorship and human rights" focuses on the role of corporate sponsors in addressing human rights risks associated with major sporting events. It highlights measures taken by sponsors of...
Russia: Human Rights Watch & other NGOs call upon FIFA to engage with authorities on persecution of human rights defenders
Author: Human Rights Watch, Front Line Defenders, Amnesty Int'l & 11 other NGOs
"Joint Letter to FIFA Concerning the Human Rights Crisis in Chechnya", 16 May 2018...