What are Child Athlete Rights?

How Sport has Failed Children

Children across the globe are entitled to human rights like all people — and all adults, whether in civil society, government, or sports organizations, have a special obligation to ensure these rights are protected, respected, and remedied. However, recent research and cases have made apparent just how often the rights of child athletes have not been upheld.

From the sexual abusers at USA Gymnastics to abusive training practices in Japanese youth sports, it is clear that there are large gaps in oversight and governance in sport governing bodies when it comes to protecting young athletes at both the elite and recreational levels.

Children Should be Free and Safe to Play, Learn, and Grow

Through the International Bill on Human Rights, children have a right to health, safety, education, wellbeing, and play. All sport governing bodies and individuals involved have a responsibility to ensure these rights are guaranteed. When they do not, they must be held to account and enact comprehensive and immediate reform. 

The voices of survivors, victims and people with lived experience must take priority and be considered in any and all decisions related to their welfare. There should be nothing about them without them.

Join the Network

Sport has the potential to be a catalyst for human development, unity, and freedom, but too often it instead brings harm to its athletes, fans, and communities. We exist to uncover and rectify the many abuses that exist both in and around sport. We aim to transform sports into an authentic force for good.