Children Win’s quest to change the way Mega Sporting Events (MSE) are organised in the future by highlighting their current damaging impact on children is working, according to a new study.
Researchers at the Deutsche Sporthochschule (German Sport University) in Cologne tracked media outlets in 12 countries to gauge the level of coverage around children’s rights violations in the context of MSE.
They discovered that in the first third of 2016, the level of media awareness was especially high in relation to the Rio Olympics, with “extraordinarily high” levels of of human rights abuses reporting in the UK, USA and Brazil.
“Children’s rights in the context of mega sporting events have emerged as an increasingly important topic, and this emergence is at least partly due to the related research and advocacy activities taking place,” said the report by Till Müller-Schoell from the university’s Institute for European Sport Development and Leisure Studies.
The report found that “presumably as an effect of Children Win and related campaigning” the presence of child rights coverage in UK, American and French media was strong.
Topics covered by media reports corresponded exactly with those we have highlighted most strongly in our communications; forced evictions, housing and gentrification, labour rights and security in construction work, urban violence, poverty, criminality and police brutality, sexual exploitation, pollution and redistribution of wealth towards global sport organisations.
Terre des Hommes, who run the Children Win campaign, are hugely encouraged by the report’s findings. Such reports help organisations working on the issue of Mega Sporting Events and human rights violations to frame out the discussions with sport governing bodies such as FIFA and IOC, in order to bring about change in the way Mega Sporting Events are organised and not harm children in the future.