Human Rights in Sports

14th August 2019

Author - Bruce Kidd, Peter Donnelly

Human Rights in Sports


This article, inspired by the activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, examines both the development and potential of human rights initiatives in sports. Following a general discussion of the development and status of human rights, we turn specifically to the issue of human rights in sports, both in terms of the human rights of athletes and in terms of a more basic right to participate in sport and physical activity. We provide examples of campaigns against racism and apartheid, for gender equity and for athletes' rights; and we consider examples of some current strategic campaigns for children's and workers' rights in relation to sport and physical activity, and against the attack on public support of sport and physical activity. We conclude with some suggestions for carrying out campaigns for human rights in sport.