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Open Call: Apply now for participation in the Innovation Booster on Sport, Human Rights and Leadership

Theme Leader :   

Subject matter experts, sport organisations and other parties with a stake in promoting the adherence to human rights principles in sport are invited to address this pressing topic during a dedicated ideation session organised on 10 October in Lausanne. The session will identify and promote leadership behaviours, decision-making processes, inspirational qualities, and influential tactics across the global sports ecosystem that are conducive to embedding internationally recognised human rights standards referred to in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

Apply here until 25 September 2023 to become part of this important innovation challenge, which is led by the Centre for Sport & Human Rights (CSHR) and will look at the following questions :

  • How can actors in the sport ecosystem support a new generation of sports leaders committed to sustainability in not just changing practices and mitigating risks, but changing the culture of sport to ensure people are always central?  

  • What instruments can we offer to a new generation of sports leaders and administrators to develop a vision focused on people-centric culture?

  • How can we work together to raise awareness of the importance of rights-respecting sport leadership and culture?

  • What lessons can we learn from current practices and how can sport and competitions attract leaders and embed culture built on an ethos of respect for human rights?

  • How do we create incentives that nurture the right kind of leadership?


Global sport has come under the spotlight in recent years over sexual abuse scandals, allegations of corruption, alleged mistreatment of stadium construction workers, concerns over the protection of athletes’ mental health, and pressures to respond to racist, homophobic and transphobic abuse.The above mentioned abuses have negative impacts on people’s fundamental human rights, inherent to all human beings. These rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.  Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

With increasing momentum, many individuals and organisations in and across the global sports ecosystem are calling for change to address such harms. Sport should uphold a social licence to operate day-to-day sport and/or host sport events based on human rights. Important steps have been taken by actors in sport to embed international rights standards (such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) in organisational processes and to undertake due diligence processes. To effectively move from commitments to implementation, it is important for the world of sport to reflect on existing models and practices that are too often based on hierarchical structures, reflecting power differentials that can exacerbate risks to athletes and others. A new generation of sports leaders committed to sustainability is in need of support to change practices, to implement risk management systems throughout their organisation and to work towards providing access to effective remedies for all stakeholders.

Want to learn more about the nature and aim of the Innovation Booster? Click here!