Today at the plenary of the ESSDC for sport, the EU Social Partners are concluding the year by signing a Joint Statement on safeguarding the rights of child athletes to ensure that the fundamental rights of children are promoted, protected, respected and fulfilled within sport.
The surfacing of various high profile scandals concerning child athletes, which has caused untold psychological and physical damage and has threatened to bring the sporting sector into irreversible disrepute, has spearheaded this crucial action.
After consulting with various bodies, such as UNICEF and the United Nations, the statement acknowledges the failings of the sport sector for child athletes and identifies the key issues affecting child athletes. Instances of harassment, harm, violence or abuse are prevalent as up to three-quarters of child athletes have experienced some kind of emotional harm and almost a third have been sexually harassed. The statement also provides five action areas to prevent the violation of child athletes’ rights in the future.
UNI Europa believes that every child is entitled to the opportunity to freely pursue sport in an inclusive, adapted and safe environment, and to have his or her rights as a child protected, respected and fulfilled. Without limitation, it is the responsibility of all adults involved in delivering activities for children to be responsible for ensuring that the rights of children are safeguarded.
We are committed to ensuring that sport increases its focus on children’s rights, and that greater attention is paid to creating a positive sporting ethos where children are respected, and where their voices are heard and used to shape their sporting experience, welfare and performance.
Read the full statement here.
For further information, please contact Amel Djemail, UNI Europa Sport Policy Officer
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