Call for papers
At the individual level, the adoption of the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport (UNESCO, 1978) entailed the recognition of a human right to sport. This right has been embedded in later human rights instruments, such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This emerging human right requires inter alia accessible and affordable sports facilities and physical education on a basis of non-discrimination.
A major human rights concern from the athlete’s perspective is the exploitation faced by many athletes. In the globalised sports community, athletes are treated as merchandise and often become victim of human traffickers. With regard to minor athletes, sports can in some cases amount to child labour and might infringe their right to development and other children’s rights.
Another concern is the fight against racism, which gained momentum through effective campaigns at national and international sporting events. Moreover, doping and bio-enhancement affect fundamental human rights, just as well as intrusive anti-doping policies raise severe privacy concerns. The establishment of special tribunals to deal with disciplinary proceedings at the national and at the international level, as for example the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Geneva, raises questions related to the application of fair trial standards
Major international sporting events, such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup Football, have a huge impact on human rights. The organization of such an event has enormous financial and spatial implications which can be problematic from the viewpoint of the right to development and the progressive realization of economic and social rights. The construction of sports facilities and accommodation necessitates expropriation and takes place in hazardous labour circumstances and at low labour standards. Organizing states often infringe civil liberties in the name of protecting law and order, including restrictions of freedom of speech and association, police brutality and the establishment of special courts, designed to deliver justice speedily, that may lack sufficient fair trial guarantees. The increase of human trafficking to satisfy the huge demand of sex-work is often a detrimental side-effect of such events.
Another question, which especially arose in the context of the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing, is whether human rights should be taken into account when selecting a host country for international sports events. Although China had to temporarily reduce its control on foreign media, the Olympic Games did not turn out to be a momentum to improve China’s human rights situation. The official stance of the IOC is that the Olympic Games are a sporting, not a political event. However the boycott of South-African sports teams during the Apartheid regime demonstrated that sport can strengthen human rights discourse.
International sports federations involved in the organisation of major international sporting events often demand to be attributed state-like competences, including the monopoly on violence, in a periphery around the sports venues. This raises the question of their accountability for human rights violations.
We invite papers that deal with these or other relationships between sports and human rights, in particular at the level of the individual, the athlete or the organization of major international sports events. The journal invites scholars to emphasize the interaction between human rights law and other branches of international law.
Papers can be main articles (10.000 to 15.000 words) or shorter articles (5.000 to 8.000 words).
The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 October 2011. A limited number of abstracts will be selected for the submission of full papers by 1 April 2012, under a peer review process. The thematic issue will be published in the autumn of 2012.