International Declaration on Human Rights and Sport (Tbilisi Declaration)

We, the undersigned

Affirming the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the foundation of international efforts to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

Recalling that, at European level, States’ commitment to the realisation of Human Rights has resulted in the development of detailed standards and the establishment of specialised mechanisms for the protection of human rights such as the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter, the Council of Europe Conventions on actions against trafficking in human beings, on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence;

Recognising that human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in the relevant international treaties, should be protected in all sectors of activities. This includes among others the right to life, physical integrity and protection from violence, to privacy and property, to social protection, to a fair trial and to an effective remedy, the freedom of expression, of assembly and association as well as the prohibition of discrimination;

Recognising the growing contribution of sport to the promotion of tolerance and respect, to the empowerment of women and of young people, to the development of individuals and communities as well as to the achievement of health, education and social inclusion objectives;

Recalling that public authorities must respect, promote and protect human rights, which also includes positive obligations to protect by judicial and other means the rights of individuals from violations by non-State actors;

Recognising that those organising sport activities have a responsibility to respect and protect human rights, including the right to remedy for human rights violations and welcoming the important steps made in this area by the sport movement;

Concerned by the human rights violations occurring in the context of sport, in particular of children, women, persons with disabilities and from minority groups;

Jointly declare the following:

  • We commit to advocating physical activity and sport for all as a fundamental right of every human being;
  • We commit to fighting arbitrariness and other abuses in sport so as to ensure full respect for the rule of law in sport activities, including access to justice and fair trial in line with the applicable human rights standards;
  • We commit to further investing in the effective implementation of human rights standards in and through sport, in particular by developing governmental/non-governmental partnerships and using multi-stakeholder platforms to identify and promote measures to prevent and respond to human rights violations in sport;
  • We commit to introducing respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms as an objective in our statutory aims, policies, plans, projects and other strategic documents;
  • We commit to working towards gender equality and to a policy of zero tolerance for violence and discrimination, paying particular attention to individuals and groups in a situation of vulnerability, such as children, migrants, and persons with disabilities;
  • We will endeavour to uphold human rights in the context of the organisation of sport events and to introduce human rights objectives and considerations in the whole life cycle of major sporting events, starting with the bidding process and including planning for a lasting positive legacy;
  • We invite other members of governments and parliaments, national human rights institutions, representatives from international organisations, leaders of national and international sport organisations, the business community, international human rights organisations and other INGOs to endorse this declaration.