Are you a public figure?
Do you have a role in overseeing sports?
Do you run a sports club, an association,
Are you a coach, an athlete?
Do your children practice sports?
Do you care about children
and their rights?
It’s time to stop child sexual abuse in sport
It’s hard for children to talk
Adults must break the silence!
About one in five children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence
This includes sexual touching, rape, sexual harassment, grooming, exhibitionism, exploitation in prostitution and pornography, online sexual extortion and coercion…
Sexual abuse often leaves scars for life
BECAUSE OF ABUSE OF POWER AND TRUST
Between 70% and 85% of children know their abuser
The vast majority of children are victims of people they trust
ABUSE HAPPENS IN SPORT TOO
In sport, children can be at risk because:
a high tolerance of physical violence and injuries
authoritarian leadership and unequal power relationships between coaches and athletes
scandal avoidance: incidents are silenced
male-dominated gender ratio
physical contact is often required
inappropriate sexual behaviour is often tolerated, discrimination and gender inequality accepted
potential risk situations: changing rooms, showers, carpooling, overnight stays
It’s hard for children to talk
About 1/3 of abused children never tell anyone
Some children are not able to recognise the abuse: very young children, children with disabilities
Fear of not being believed or fear of consequences: reprisals and possible impact on family, the career, the reputation
Shame and guilt
Children do not know whom to tell
Athletes are supposed to be strong, vulnerability is considered a weakness
Confusion : some children believe being in a true "relationship"
Adults must break the silence
Sport can become an empowering and protective environment for children
It is up to adults to prevent abuse, protect children and help to fight impunity
These are athletes, coaches, clubs, federations, political figures and opinion leaders who COMMIT to take concrete MEASURES to stop sexual abuse of children in sport
Do you want to be a silence breaker?
Creating a safe playing environment for children is integral to our social responsibility objectives.
The tools and materials developed by the Council of Europe as part of its Start to Talk initiative are extremely valuable and will certainly complement our own measures.
We are committed to cooperate with the Council of Europe to further strengthen the protection of children in sport, particularly in football.
FIFA would like to express its support for the “Start to talk” initiative of the Council of Europe Agreement on Sport (EPAS).
FIFA has a statutory commitment, elaborated in its human rights policy, to respecting all internationally recognised human rights. It is in the process of expanding its policy framework in order to address precisely the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Through concrete actions and cooperation in policy formulation between the Council of Europe and FIFA, we look forward to benefiting from each other’s experience and expertise in order to create a safer environment for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our communities.
We can help
The Council of Europe Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse details the measures that must be taken
It protects children in 42 European states
To stop child abuse in sport,
the Council of Europe helps to:
Improve legislations and policies
Set up child safeguarding strategies for sports structures, activities and events
Develop codes of conduct
Train sports professionals: coaches, sports managers and policy makers
To know more
There are many Council of Europe tools available to help you: