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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.

Generation 2026: Youth Media Forward Initiative

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

The Centre is now inviting applications for the first cohort of 20 youth reporters. Check out below for more info and how to apply.

Apply to Youth Media Forward!

The Centre is inviting applications for the first cohort of 20 youth journalists for its Youth Media Forward Initiative. We are inviting applications from 15-17 year olds based in four of the FIFA World Cup 2026 host cities: Guadalajara; Toronto; New York City / New Jersey and Los Angeles.

Find out more and apply

Forma parte de la Iniciativa para Jóvenes Periodistas

El Centro tiene abierto el plazo de presentación de candidaturas para la primera promoción, formada por 20 reporteros juveniles. Invitamos a jóvenes de entre 15 y 17 años residentes en Guadalajara, Toronto, Nueva York/Nueva Jersey y Los Ángeles, cuatro de las ciudades anfitrionas de la Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2026.

Incríbete aquí

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.

Timeline

G26 timeline