The World Players Association has released a “Declaration on Safeguarding the Rights of Child Athletes” to help protect children participating in sport from growing concerns over the early professionalisation of child athletes and the violation of their fundamental rights, including sexual abuse and trafficking.

“In the quest for medals and new records, we tend to forget that child athletes are children first and athletes second. They must have opportunities to freely play and fully develop instead of having their identities narrowed early in the pursuit of sporting excellence”, Brendan Schwab, Executive Director of the World Players Association, said today.

Recent reports revealing widespread sexual abuse have led World Players and its affiliates to increase their focus on safeguarding the fundamental rights of children in sport.

The “Declaration on Safeguarding the Rights of Child Athletes” places the best interests of the child as the guiding principle for any involvement of children in sport. It sets out key principles and action areas in which sport’s stakeholders must work together to ensure sport is always a safe space for children.

The “Declaration on Safeguarding the Rights of Child Athletes” also provided the basis for a joint statement of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sport and Active Leisure, where EU Athletes and its members represent the professional sub-sector, signed at its plenary meeting on the 8th of November in Brussels.

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