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GENERATION 2026: Advancing Safer Young-Inclusive Sports

The upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 in Canada, Mexico and the United States is the first major sporting event (MSE) to require human rights commitments from host countries during the bid process. This is a historic milestone that will change the way MSEs are planned and delivered, creating a new legacy. 

The Centre for Sport and Human Rights has supported human rights efforts related to this men’s World Cup since 2020, through different activities.

Now the Centre wants to make sure that child rights are at the core of this World Cup’s legacy with the groundbreaking project Generation 2026: Advancing Safer Young-Inclusive Sports. We are working with four host cities across the three North American countries, New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles in the United States; Guadalajara, in Mexico; and Toronto, in Canada, to advance the protection and promotion of the rights of children. Training, resources and participation in cross-city peer networks will be offered to all sixteen host cities in North America.

Join Child Safeguarding in Sport Programs in Cities

As part of the Generation 2026 project, the Centre will work with local sport organizations in New York City & New Jersey, Guadalajara, and Toronto through the summer of 2026 to increase child safeguarding in sport capacity to prevent child sexual abuse and other forms of abuse in sport. We will provide each local sport organization and venue with assessment, training, consultation, support and technical assistance.

Is your organisation interested in being part of the program? See below to submit your expression of interest by May 27.

Expression of Interest

Check out below the details of the application process and become part of the Child Safeguarding in Sport Programs in cities. Deadline for applications is May 27.

More info & how to apply

Manifestación de interés

Consulta a continuación los detalles para aplicar y que tu organización forme parte de los Programas sobre Salvaguarda de la Infancia en el deporte en las ciudades. El plazo de solicitud termina el 27 de mayo.

G26 Safeguarding MOU ES

What are Child Rights?

Children have the same human rights as adults - as well as additional rights that are specific to their needs, like the right to play.  Child rights are set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention has four guiding principles: non-discrimination; child participation; survival and development; and the best interests of the child. The “best interests” principle means that in all actions concerning children the best interests of the child is a primary consideration.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Child US Soccer supporters wave US flags in a stadium

Why is Generation 2026 important?

Sporting events have a major impact in the daily lives of children. When large events come into communities, it is important to ensure that children’s rights are protected, and that children have a say in decision-making. Safeguarding children from harm is fundamentally important, before, during and after major sporting events. 

The project will create a model for integrating child perspectives and experiences in the planning, delivery, and legacy of major sporting events.

What do we hope to achieve?

By 2026 this project implemented by the Centre will result in:

  • A more informed public on the relevance of child rights to MSEs. 
  • Informed and engaged host cities, sport organizations, and local organizing committees who are working to improve conditions for children in and around MSEs. 
  • More communities committed to promoting child rights, and more children who know and exercise their rights.
  • Cross-city coalitions dedicated to continuous improvement of child rights.

Generation 2026: Youth Media Forward Initiative

As part of its Generation 2026 project, the Centre has launched the Youth Media Forward Initiative, a program for young reporters from 15-17 year olds based in Guadalajara, Toronto, New York and New Jersey, and Los Angeles. Participants will expand their skills, connect with media industry leaders and help transform the future of sports media. 

Applications for the first cohort of 20 youth reporters, getting underway in September 2024, are now closed. Check out below for more info.

Be part of the Youth Media Forward Initiative!

The Youth Media Forward Initiative is an exciting opportunity to hone skills, build a peer network, report stories and share opinions: on the human rights dimensions of sports in your community, and in connection with the FIFA World Cup 2026.

Find out more

Forma parte de la Iniciativa para Jóvenes Periodistas

Esta iniciativa es una oportunidad apasionante para perfeccionar aptitudes, crear una red de contactos, relatar historias y compartir opiniones sobre las dimensiones de los derechos humanos del deporte en tu comunidad, y en conexión con la Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2026.

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