ZURICH: The main recommendations from Harvard professor John Ruggie in his FIFA-commissioned report, For the Game. For the World, were as follows:

** FIFA should adopt a clear and coherent human rights policy which applies to its leadership, staff, commercial subsidiaries, and to its relationships with member associations, business partners and other relevant parties. It should be explicit that FIFA is committed to the principles of internationally recognised human rights even where domestic laws provide fewer or weaker protections;

** FIFA’s Code of Conduct should be revised to make it clear that its human rights responsibility covers the full range of internationally recognised human rights. FIFA should similarly review its disciplinary code and Code of Ethics and ensure that the human rights commitment in Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes is mirrored in the standard statutes for member associations and confederations;

** FIFA, to embed respect for human rights, should formally designate a member of top management with accountability for its human rights performance, ideally a person who reports directly to the secretary-general. Departments centrally concerned include commercial contracts (including licensing), competitions, compliance, development, governmental affairs, human resources, member associations, security and sustainability.

** Independent members of FIFA’s new Governance Committee, which is mandated to address human rights in connection with FIFA and its activities, should include individuals with recognised human rights expertise. The committee should be gender balanced to help ensure an ongoing dialogue with representatives of civil society, trade unions, academia and other experts with insight into FIFA’s human rights risks.

** FIFA should include human rights within its criteria for evaluating bids to host tournaments and should make them a substantive factor in host selection.

LOCs’ duties

** FIFA should set explicit human rights requirements of Local Organising Committees in bidding documents for tournaments and provide guidance on them. Requirements for LOCs should set out the basic policies and processes essential to manage human rights risks, and provide for adequate monitoring. They should indicate what the LOC should expect of its business partners, and seek information on how the LOC will address human rights risks associated with tournaments.

** Government guarantees which FIFA requires of tournament hosts should reflect FIFA’s human rights commitment in Article 3 of its revised Statutes. FIFA and the LOC should request that law enforcement agencies provided by the government are, at a minimum, fully trained to act in accordance with the 1979 United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the 1990 United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

** FIFA should work with LOCs to engage host governments throughout in efforts to reduce human rights risks associated with tournaments.

** Host governments have a duty both to protect people from human rights abuses as well as to ensure that those acting in the government’s name respect human rights. Although FIFA’s relationships with host governments are not contractual, FIFA should seek every opportunity to exercise its leverage in order to reduce human rights risks connected to tournaments.

** FIFA should build leverage into supply chain relationships from the earliest stage possible, in order to maximise its ability to prevent negative impacts on people.

** FIFA should include, in contracts, internationally acknowledged provisions that are in line with internationally recognised human rights.

Implemenation checks

** FIFA should use its annual member associations’ conferences to raise awareness of member associations’ own human rights responsibilities and should use its existing mentoring activities to help them understand and implement them.

** Where FIFA is unable to reduce severe human rights impacts by using its leverage, it should consider suspending or terminating the relationship. Where this is not possible FIFA should at a minimum explain its efforts to mitigate the impacts as transparently as possible. The option of ending a relationship itself is an important source of leverage and should be clearly communicated to bidders, suppliers, licensees and other relevant entities.

** FIFA should provide sufficient information on human rights in its annual Activity Report to explain its governance of, and general approach to, respect for human rights. This should include updates on its implementation of the recommendations made in this report.

** FIFA should consider using the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework to strengthen its own human rights reporting, and to set clear requirements for human rights reporting by LOCs.

** FIFA should require LOCs to establish effective grievance mechanisms for human rights-related complaints, with appropriate thresholds for complaints to be escalated to FIFA itself.

** FIFA should ensure that its own dispute resolution bodies have adequate human rights expertise and procedures to address human rights claims, and urge member associations, confederations and the Court of Arbitration for Sport to do the same.

The full report:


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