Report on FIFA & Human Rights: John Ruggie makes 25 practical human rights recommendations for FIFA
In December 2015, FIFA tasked John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on business & human rights to develop recommendations on what it means for FIFA to embed respect for human rights across its global operations. The full report, developed with the support of Shift, is available below.
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Author: Ruth Green, Intl. Bar Association
A landmark human rights report by Professor John Ruggie has put greater pressure on FIFA to clean up its act ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.The independent report by the former UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights was commissioned by FIFA in December 2015 amid allegations that the football governing body was contributing to a range of adverse human rights impacts across its global operations, including the death of migrant construction workers in Qatar...Hans Corell is Co-Chair of the IBA Human Rights Institute. ‘These recommendations mean that FIFA should include human rights within its criteria for evaluating bids to host tournaments and should make them a substantive factor in host selection,’ he says. ‘It is said this is about making decisions based on evidence of how effectively bidders intend to address human rights risks connected with the tournament,’ he adds. ‘It is not about pre-emptively excluding countries based on their general human rights context. Nevertheless, I take it for granted that there will be much more focus on the manner in which host states protect human rights. The question is whether notorious human rights violators should be accepted as hosts for tournaments.’...Akira Kawamura, former IBA President and member of the IAAF Ethics Board, says there are considerable challenges in getting international sports governing bodies to take action on human rights issues...Pieth, who has already grappled with the challenge of supervising FIFA’s reform, says ultimately actions from FIFA will speak louder than words. ‘Intellectually it’s not difficult, but the question is will they muster the clout to actually do it and enforce these good ideas.’
« Mondiaux: la Fifa doit "faire pression" sur les pays qui ne respectent pas les droits de l'Homme (expert) », 14 avril 2016
La Fifa doit "faire pression" sur les pays-hôtes de ses compétitions afin qu'ils respectent les droits de l'Homme, et elle doit prendre en compte ce critère pour l'attribution du Mondial-2026, estime [John Ruggie] un expert qu'elle a mandaté sur la question...
...[La Fifa] est attaquée par des organisations de défense des droits de l'Homme pour avoir attribué au Qatar l'organisation du Mondial-2022, car ce riche Etat du Golfe est critiqué pour des abus dont ont été victimes des migrants participant à la construction des stades.
Selon M. Ruggie, les priorités à court terme sont de prendre en considération "les risques liés aux droits de l'Homme" dans les tournois déjà programmés et d'utiliser "tous les moyens pour faire pression" sur les pays-hôtes afin qu'ils respectent les engagements de la Fifa en matière de droits de l'Homme...
La Fifa "s'engage totalement à respecter les droits de l'Homme", a réagi le président de la Fifa, Gianni Infantino dans un communiqué, soulignant qu'il s'agit "d'un processus en cours" et que "des défis demeurent"...
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Author: John G. Ruggie, Harvard Univ., former UN Special Representative on business & human rights; with support from Shift
In December 2015, FIFA asked me to develop recommendations on what it means for FIFA to embed respect for human rights across its global operations...FIFA has been beset by allegations about human rights abuses in connection with its events and relationships...While FIFA is established as an association, it conducts significant commercial activities on a global scale, making the UNGPs the appropriate reference standard...
My recommendations are intended to be practical...Short-term priorities must include addressing human rights risks in tournaments that are already scheduled, and using every opportunity to press host countries to support FIFA’s new statutory human rights commitment. In addition, FIFA should finalize the integration of human rights requirements into the bidding documents for the 2026 Men’s World Cup. Other immediate steps should include developing a human rights policy and implementation strategy, creating the necessary internal operational and accountability structures to drive this work across the organization, and instituting more robust engagement with external stakeholders who have human rights expertise...
The recommendations are clustered under six headings, which lay out the continuum of necessary steps...Every individual recommendation is then elaborated in additional bullet points...
- Adopt a Clear and Coherent Human Rights Policy
- Embed Respect for Human Rights
- Identify and Evaluate Human Rights Risks
- Address Human Rights Risks
- Track and Report on Implementation
- Enable Access to Remedy
The foundational challenge for FIFA now is to go beyond putting words on paper and adding new administrative functions. What is required is a cultural shift that must affect everything FIFA does and how it does it. The result must be “good governance, ”not merely “good-looking governance.”...
Press release: "Independent Report Recommends how FIFA Needs to Manage the Far-Reaching Human Rights Risks of its Global Enterprise"
Author: Harvard Kennedy School
An independent report issued today by John Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and former top United Nations official on business and human rights, recommends how FIFA - the global governing body of football - needs to manage the far-reaching human rights risks associated with its activities and relationships. Risks include the displacement of communities to make way for stadiums, risks to workers building tournament infrastructure or manufacturing FIFA-branded goods, and systemic challenges such as gender discrimination throughout association football.
Author: Amnesty Intl. USA
FIFA President Gianni Infantino cannot afford to continue the organization’s indifference to human rights abuses in Qatar, said Amnesty International today, following the publication of a report identifying major shortcomings in FIFA’s policies and practices...While the report sets out broad organizational human rights reforms, it does not specifically tackle the human rights crisis in Qatar, where thousands of World Cup workers are at risk of abuse...“The Ruggie report warns that FIFA has ‘a long road ahead’ from this ‘initial commitment to human rights’. But migrant workers in Qatar cannot wait. They need human rights protections now. While FIFA dawdles, they are at risk of a shocking catalogue of abuses, including forced labor. Gianni Infantino cannot hide behind this report. He needs to take concrete action right now to address abuses in Qatar.”...On 31 March 2016, Amnesty International published a report exposing abuse of construction workers building Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, which will host a World Cup semi-final in 2022. FIFA’s response was shockingly indifferent to the abuses, which in some cases amounted to forced labour...
FIFA press release: "Report by Harvard expert Professor Ruggie to support development of FIFA’s human rights policies"
An independent report by human rights expert and Harvard Kennedy School Professor John Ruggie published today will help strengthen FIFA’s institutional approach to human rights, including the ongoing development of a “FIFA Human Rights Policy”...“FIFA is fully committed to respecting human rights,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “I would like to thank Prof. Ruggie for his work in producing this report, which, together with FIFA’s own analysis and ongoing work, will guide the way forward. This is an ongoing process and of course challenges remain, but FIFA is committed to playing its part in ensuring respect for human rights and to being a leader among international sports organisations in this important area.”...
Author: Terre de Hommes IF (Switzerland)
World football’s governing body and organisers of the 2022 finals in Qatar have been strongly criticised because of the treatment of migrant workers in the Gulf state...In December 2015, FIFA commissioned Harvard professor John Ruggie and his team to provide the report into what it means for the governing body to “embed respect for human rights across its global operations”...Shortly after the release, Ruggie met with FIFA’s new President Gianni Infantino yesterday to personally deliver his recommendations...[Infantino] said: “It is my sincere hope that he will make this work a priority under his leadership. FIFA’s reputation depends on it.”
Author: Minky Worden, Human Rights Watch
Ruggie’s report, “For The Game. For The World,” out today, notes FIFA does not have much in place to protect human rights. Over the last year, FIFA’s failings have been on full display...Ruggie’s report calls on FIFA to develop effective rights policies and procedures, to ensure it avoids or mitigates human rights violations, and enable victims to secure redress. The report offers a credible picture of what a meaningful human rights infrastructure at FIFA could look like—but for now it is nothing more than words on paper. Even if FIFA reacts positively to the report, it is just a start. Its new president, Gianni Infantino, needs to instill a new culture that says: FIFA will work as hard as possible to avoid contributing to human rights abuses. And where the World Cup or any other tournament is bound up with abuses, FIFA will act immediately...There are steps FIFA can take now to show that Ruggie’s report is not mere window-dressing, and they start with firmer action in Qatar. FIFA should publicly demand that Qatar act to end migrant worker deaths, and abolish its abusive exit visa system – something that the government could accomplish with the stroke of a pen – as a necessary first step towards reforms. FIFA should monitor and remedy abuses in preparations for upcoming World Cups in Qatar, and in Russia, the 2018 host, as rigorously as it oversees stadium completion. The International Olympic Committee has already taken steps in the right direction.
Author: Intl. Trade Union Confederation
In a major breakthrough for human rights and sport, today’s report on FIFA’s human rights obligations, released by Professor John Ruggie, one of the world’s foremost human rights experts, has set a clear agenda for FIFA to act and help restore its battered reputation. It also establishes a global requirement for all sports organisations, both for major events and for their ongoing operations including marketing and sponsorship...Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: "FIFA commissioned this report and now it needs to put the recommendations in place. Professor Ruggie has made it clear that the whole package of rights must be respected, without exception, and in every area of FIFA’s operations including but not limited to huge events such as the men’s World Cup.".."This report makes clear that FIFA must act decisively. Equally Qatar, which fails massively to meet the standards set out in the report, must ahead of the UN human rights and business forum which it is hosting next week, make a real commitment to comprehensive reform..." said Burrow.
Author: UNI World Athletes
UNI World Athletes, the world players’ association across professional sport, welcomed the historic report and recommendations on FIFA and human rights by Professor John G Ruggie of Harvard University...Brendan Schwab, the Head of UNI World Athletes, said that, “Professor Ruggie’s report sets a standard not just for FIFA, but for the world of sport. The power and reach of international sporting federations like FIFA can be a force for good by advancing human rights across the world. Everyone involved in football from migrant workers in Qatar to the players should have the rights of freedom of assembly and of movement, rights to education and work and the right to collectively bargain.”...Professor Ruggie’s report specifically addresses the position of the players, acknowledging the work of FIFPro, the world footballers’ association and a member of UNI World Athletes, in documenting allegations by players of serious harm to their human rights. These include trafficking (including minors), non-payment, delay, harassment and threats of suspension, threats compounded by players being denied access to an effective remedy.