NYON/ FRANKFURT: UEFA and the German DFB have presented a human rights declaration for next year’s European Championship finals at the Sport and Human Rights conference hosted by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community in Berlin.

The declaration states that UEFA and the DFB “will uphold and protect human rights during UEFA EURO 2024, and create a framework for the implementation of related processes.”

A joint statement said:

The declaration is the result of close cooperation and the complementary approach between UEFA and the DFB, the host nation and host cities, that includes the incorporation of suggestions and ideas from interest groups, stakeholders and human rights experts such as the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, the Sport and Rights Alliance, the EURO 2024 Stakeholder-Initiative and the German Institute for Human Rights. 

Since the start of the tournament’s organisation, UEFA, DFB and its joint venture EURO 2024 GmbH have been adamant that UEFA EURO 2024 shall be a sporting event that commits to human rights as a contributing factor to the success of the tournament.

Human rights are a guiding principle of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities around the tournament as outlined in the tournament’s ESG strategy. Consequently, and as part of this integrative approach, it was agreed with all parties involved to adopt a human rights declaration for UEFA EURO 2024.

Michele Uva, UEFA’s director of social & environmental sustainability, said at the conference: “For UEFA EURO 2024 we have greater goals. We are really happy to sign today’s declaration, as this is an important moment for our sport and for society.

“UEFA is not only committed to today’s declaration. We are also working closely with non-governmental organisations and stakeholders to develop a detailed approach to the protection and promotion of human rights. It is a real action plan, with numerous actions in place to score the greater goal. We will make sure to turn this ambition into reality.”

Heike Ullrich, the general secretary of the German Football Association, says: “Today’s signature marks an important milestone on the road to UEFA EURO 2024. The DFB has committed to fulfilling its socio-political responsibility in terms of social sustainability.

“It is of particular importance for the DFB that the contents of the Human Rights Declaration for UEFA EURO 2024 and the results of the risk analysis in the run-up to the declaration will also be taken into account in future measures and competitions. UEFA EURO 2024 and the tournament’s Human Rights Declaration will therefore have a lasting impact on the whole of German football, even after the end of the EURO next year.” 

The following objectives are outlined within the declaration:

  • Accessibility, Diversity & Inclusion

The organisers of UEFA EURO 2024 shall ensure that stadiums, working environments and the broader football ecosystem are accessible to all. Diversity and inclusion are celebrated as part of the tournament, ensuring that all social groups and communities can participate. Furthermore, the UEFA Foundation for Children and the DFB foundations will do the utmost to support football and give children access to games.

  • No discrimination and abuse

All forms of discrimination and abuse shall be prevented and combatted.

  • Safety, Health and Well-being

UEFA EURO 2024 shall be a safe experience for everyone involved in the tournament. Access to healthy food and beverages is provided and physical activity is supported and promoted.

  • Freedom of speech

UEFA EURO 2024 shall be an event for everyone. This means that everyone is invited to support their favourite team, celebrate together and exercise their freedom of speech during the tournament.

The commitment is supported by specific actions embedded in the UEFA EURO 2024 ESG strategy, which includes the protection of rights, diversity and inclusion, health and well-being, and solidarity. The human-rights focused activities will be evaluated on an ongoing basis while progress and measures taken will also be reported.

In the preparation and implementation of UEFA EURO 2024, all the stakeholders involved, i.e. UEFA, the DFB, EURO 2024 GmbH, the German federal government, the governments of the German federal states (Länder) and the host cities (Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart), commit themselves to making their joint contribution to presenting a tournament that stands for democracy, respect, tolerance and respect for human rights.

All actions are in line with the with internationally recognised United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which are also the basis of Germany’s Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG).