Human Rights and International Sporting Events – Possible Ways Forward?, 31.5.23

A public panel discussion of the project "Our Game for Human Rights" with the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU in Brussels.

Wednesday 31 May 2023, 18:00-19:30
Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU
Avenue de Cortenbergh 30, 1040 Brussels


Mega-sporting events have recently been the subject of more and more public criticism, too often in the context of human rights violations, such as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar end of last year. However, sport and international sporting events have a great potential to respect and promote human rights especially when
the actors who bear responsibility set an example. In order to support sport stakeholders in organizing their sporting events in the spirit of human rights, the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport (BMKOS) has published the handbook “International Sporting Events and Human Rights – A Handbook for Implementation in Austria”.


At the public panel discussion event sport, public and civil society stakeholders as well as representatives of EU member states are invited to exchange views on the promotion of human rights in the context of major sporting events in their countries, to identify best practices, and plan next steps together. The goal is to stimulate transfer of expertise as well as targeted and joint further action


18:00 Welcome

Nikolaus Marschik, Permanent Representative of Austria to the EU

18:05 Keynotes addresses

Christina Kokkinakis, Deputy Managing Director, EEAS
Georg Häusler, Director for Culture, Creativity and Sport, European Commission (DG EAC)

18:15 Panel discussion

Sylvia Schenk, Member IOC Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Human Rights volunteer at FIFA World Cup 2024 in Qatar, former Olympic athlete
Martin Kainz, Consultant on Human Rights, Prevention of Violent Extremism and Sport, former coordinator Austrian Working Group Sport and Human Rights
Alison Biscoe, Head of Partnerships and Programme Development, Centre for Sport & Human Rights
Moderation: Kurt Wachter, fairplay Initiative/VIDC

19:00 Open floor

followed by a reception

Kimberley.Baeyens [AT] bmeia.gv [DOT] at

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The event is organized by the fairplay initiative at VIDC as part of the Our Game for Human Rights project in collaboration with the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU, with the support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and BMKÖS.