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Mega Sporting Events and Human Rights: The Responsibility of Business (Day One)

20 October 2022
3.00pm – 6.00pm AEDT
Online event
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sport field

The Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney, the Cluster on Corporate Citizenship at Macquarie University and the University of Melbourne will host a workshop and public panel discussion on 20 & 21 October 2022. To ensure greater participation of people from different world regions, the workshop and panel discussion on 20 October, 3pm-6pm AEST will be virtual, and an in-person workshop will be held on 21 October at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth (61/101 Phillip St, Sydney), 9.30am-1pm AEST.

Sport and human rights are inextricably linked. Sport can be harnessed as a means to progress and recognise human rights, but it can also be used to mask discrimination, corruption and suppression of rights. This workshop provides a timely opportunity to discuss these interconnections and the roles, responsibilities and rights of athletes, business, government and local communities involved in major sporting events to both prevent and redress human rights impacts.

Speakers include Nikki Dryden (Olympian and human rights lawyer), Craig Foster (former Socceroo and broadcaster), Mary Harvey (CEO, Centre for Sport and Human Rights), Tracey Holmes (journalist), Jane Leibowitz (Human Rights Manager, FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023), Brendan Schwab (Executive Director, World Players' Association), and Yetsa Tualki-Wosornu (Sports Equity Lab, Yale University).

Thursday, 20 October – Virtual Event | 3pm-6pm

3pm-4.15pm Protecting rights of workers and athletes
Moderator: Professor Surya Deva, Macquarie University

Workers play a key role in ensuring smooth organisation of mega sporting events – like constructing stadiums. In many cases, these (migrant) workers are exploited. The rights of athletes may also get abridged at these events due to restrictions on their freedom of speech or sexual harassment in situations of a power imbalance. This session will look at the responsibility of businesses and sports organisations towards the rights of workers and athletes.

4.15pm-4.30pm Break

4.30pm-6pm Mega sporting events and human rights
Moderator: Professor Justine Nolan, Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney

This panel will address the considerable human rights implications of sporting events like the FIFA World Cup, including the rights of citizens in the host countries, the fundamental freedoms of athletes, journalists and spectators, and the rights of workers involved in construction sites and supply chains.