The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children and young people everywhere are entitled to.

All European countries are signatories and must report on implementation to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Every child and young person has rights, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status. The convention must be seen as a whole: all the rights are linked and no right is more important than another. The right to relax and play (Article 31) and the right to freedom of expression (Article 13) have equal importance as the right to be safe from violence (Article 19) and the right to education (Article 28).

The Council of Europe Lanzarote Convention (2007)

The Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as “the Lanzarote Convention”, requires criminalisation of all kinds of sexual oences against children and young people. It sets out that states in Europe and beyond shall adopt specic legislation and take measures to prevent sexual violence, to protect child victims and to prosecute perpetrators. The Lanzarote Committee is the body established to monitor whether parties eectively implement the Lanzarote Convention.

All 47 Council of Europe member states have signed and 44 states have ratified the Convention (Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom)

To see the most current information on all of the states which have ratifed the Lanzarote Convention go to:

The IOC Consensus Statement: harrassment and abuse in sport (2016)

This consensus statement extends the 2007 IOC Consensus Statement on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport, presenting additional evidence of several other types of harassment and abuse—psychological, physical and neglect. All ages and types of athletes are susceptible to these problems but science confirms that elite, disabled, child and lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans-sexual (LGBT) athletes are at highest risk, that psychological abuse is at the core of all other forms and that athletes can also be perpetrators.

Harassment and abuse arise from prejudices expressed through power differences. Perpetrators use a range of interpersonal mechanisms including contact, non-contact/verbal, cyber-based, negligence, bullying and hazing. Attention is paid to the particular risks facing child athletes, athletes with a disability and LGBT athletes. Impacts on the individual athlete and the organisation are discussed. Sport stakeholders are encouraged to consider the wider social parameters of these issues, including cultures of secrecy and deference that too often facilitate abuse, rather than focusing simply on psychopathological causes.

The promotion of safe sport is an urgent task and part of the broader international imperative for good governance in sport. A systematic multiagency approach to prevention is most effective, involving athletes, entourage members, sport managers, medical and therapeutic practitioners, educators and criminal justice agencies. Structural and cultural remedies, as well as practical recommendations, are suggested for sport organisations, athletes, sports medicine and allied disciplines, sport scientists and researchers.

The successful prevention and eradication of abuse and harassment against athletes rests on the effectiveness of leadership by the major international and national sport organisations.

International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport

The International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport  is a rights-based reference that orients and supports policy- and decision-making in sport.

Adopted in 1978, the original Charter was perceived as innovative at the time – as it was the first rights-based document to state that “the practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all”.

Based on the universal spirit of the original Charter, and integrating the significant evolutions in the field of sport since 1978, the revised Charter  introduces universal principles such as gender equality, non-discrimination and social inclusion in and through sport. It also highlights the benefits of physical activity, the sustainability of sport, the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the protection of children.

This unique text is the expression of a common vision by all stakeholders  whether they are professional or amateur athletes, referees, public authorities, law enforcement, sports organizations, betting operators, owners of sports-related rights, the media, non-governmental organizations, administrators, educators, families, the medical profession or other stakeholders.

The Charter promotes inclusive access to sport by all without any form of discrimination. It sets ethical and quality standards for all actors designing, implementing and evaluating sport programmes and policies.