What we do

Since 2014, Children Win has been steadily increasing the pressure on the organisers of Mega Sporting Events with a track record of turning a blind eye to human rights violations, and demanding change from them. We have compiled irrefutable evidence that major events, such as the FIFA World Cup™ or the Olympic Games, can directly harm children or expose them to risks such as forced eviction, violence and exploitation. More recently we have engaged directly with sports governing bodies including FIFA, the IOC and UEFA in a bid to help them reform and improve their processes by ensuring respect for human and child rights.

These experiences have helped us to create a four-step strategy:

We share the voices of children and their families who have been directly affected by human rights violations related to Mega Sporting Events. We ensure our campaigns are based on hard facts and first-person accounts. For example, watch ‘The Fighter’, a film based on the story of Naomy, a teenager whose home in the Vila Autódromo suburb of Rio was destroyed in the build-up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

• Our work is backed by evidence and research; read our report on Rio 2016

• We provide video case studies with personal testimonies.

• We stage press conferences involving people personally affected.

• This publicity increases the pressure on sports governing bodies to reform and improve their processes.

• We follow up by convening meetings between governing bodies and affected people.

We call on all stakeholders – from the organisers and hosts of Mega Sporting Events, to sponsors, participants and international media – to ensure that child rights are not violated before, during and after events. We do this directly through letters to key decision-makers and private meetings or, when necessary, in the public domain through campaigns, petitions and published letters, and through press conferences and events. We demand that sport governing bodies:

• Issue a public human rights commitment and policy.

• Have in place capacity to remedy human rights violations.

• Undertake human rights due diligence.

• Conduct human rights monitoring throughout.

• Enable external independent monitoring.

We aim to hold constructive dialogue with governing bodies and other key stakeholders, where necessary working in coalition with other civil society organisations, to ensure our voice is heard and that commitments made by MSE organisers can be implemented and the impact on children and their communities measured. We will also share our expertise in order to encourage transparency and accountability, so as to implement real and sustained change. This includes working directly with the IOC, FIFA and UEFA as follows:

• The incorporation of specific human rights criteria in the Host City Contract for the 2024 Olympics.

• Sitting on an independent board established by FIFA in March 2017, which is directly advising them on human rights.

• Working directly with the UEFA on the bidding documents for Euro 2024 and with the organising committee for the 2020 European Championships.

Our aim is to stimulate the debate between stakeholders who can successfully effect change. We listen to disparate voices who challenge the status quo, and who offer constructive criticism with realistic and viable alternatives. We aim to inform and explain, for example on how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are being incorporated by sports governing bodies, and what this means with regards to real action.

• We also work with third parties to monitor, measure and evaluate the impact of these commitments, and report on the outcomes achieved.

• We have compiled a growing bank of evidence and reports around child rights and Mega Sporting Events, which can be accessed here.

• Terre des Hommes welcomes articles and contributions from experts and academics active in this field.

• We also stage, and participate in, panel events which move the debate forwards.