Terre des Hommes welcomes the publication of a strongly-worded independent report which demands a “cultural shift” into FIFA’s approach to human rights issues.
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”.
After the report was published on April 14th 2016, Ruggie said that while FIFA is neither “solely responsible” nor the “primary cause” of the issues, the governing body “must use its influence to address these human rights risks as determinedly as it does to pursue its commercial interests”.
Ruggie added: “What is required is a cultural shift that must affect everything FIFA does and how it does it.”
Andrea Florence from Terre des Hommes, said: “The Ruggie report represents a key milestone for FIFA’s long awaited reform. We welcome the fact it determines that when developing the sustainability strategy, particular attention should be given to ‘impacts on the most vulnerable people, such as children’. However, it is important that FIFA takes concrete measures to implement these recommendations.”
Shortly after the release, Ruggie met with FIFA’s new President Gianni Infantino yesterday to personally deliver his recommendations.
He said: “It is my sincere hope that he will make this work a priority under his leadership. FIFA’s reputation depends on it.”
Infantino said: “FIFA is fully committed to respecting human rights. 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.”
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