The 15th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport took place on the 16th of October 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event was an opportunity to focus on main areas of interest of the Council of Europe, human rights and fight against corruption, in the framework of the activities of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport.

The Ministers, officials and sport stakeholders were discussing which steps should be taken by public authorities to address human rights’ violations and what are the obstacles to a more effective fight against corruption in sport. Following the Conference, two resolutions were adopted: “Protecting Human Rights in Sport: Obligations and Shared Responsibilities” and “Fighting Corruption in Sport: Scaling Up Action”, sending a positive signal confirming that public authorities recognize their role in assuring good governance and protection of human rights in the sport sector.

Voice of organized athletes was represented by EU Athletes General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk, who has underlined the need for involvement of independent athlete organizations in delivering good governance in sport and essential place of public authorities in making sure that internationally recognized human rights are protected and respected within sport context. The focus on human rights comes timely with the recent adoption of IOC Declaration of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities, which was criticized by athlete associations as well as some national athlete bodies and NGOs.

The Conference was followed by a Joint Meeting of Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly Sub-Committee on Education and Sub-Committee on Children, which focused on protection of children in sport and main topics of the Ministerial Conference, human rights and fight against corruption. Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in a panel discussion, pointing out the issues that athletes face within sporting context and the need to ensure that abuses of human rights of players, as people and workers, are properly addressed by public authorities and sport organizations.

Photo: Council of Europe

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