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World United signs up to the Declaration on Sport and Human Rights

08 Jun 2022

World United, a multicultural futsal club based in Belfast which primarily works with ethnic minorities to help integrate communities, have become the first local grassroots sports club to sign up to the Declaration on Sport and Human Rights.

The document, which was drafted by Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland and the NI Human Rights Commission, has been signed by 12 members of the Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum which includes the Irish Football Association Foundation, Ulster GAA, Ulster Rugby and Belfast Giants’ owner, Odyssey Trust.

The Declaration acknowledges sport’s potential to advance the human rights of everyone and sets out a number of commitments to ensuring that sport is used to advance the protection of all who are impacted by sport.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Chief Executive, Dr David Russell, stated:

We are delighted to see a progressive grassroots futsal club like World United sign up to the Declaration to respect and protect human rights. We hope more clubs from all sports follow their lead. This Declaration recognises the responsibility of sportspeople to challenge abuses and support an ethos of dignity and respect, tolerance, understanding, equality and fairness within sport.

The sport and human rights movement has been gaining momentum both internationally and locally. We have had record numbers attend our Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum in recent months. Four more sport’s governing bodies have signed up to the Declaration and will officially receive their Declarations at our next forum meeting in September from our Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick.

Conal Heatley, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Sports and Human Rights Forum added:

“For several years, the Commission has worked with Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland, local governing bodies of sport and the Centre for Sport and Human Rights to promote this work and it is great to now have the support of World United also. World United have a proven track record tackling the issue of racism, promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity.”

World United Chairman Aruna Djalo said:

“The ethos at World United is underpinned with Human Rights principles like participation, non-discrimination and inclusion. We are delighted to be the first futsal and local sports club to sign up to the Declaration of Sport and Human Rights”.

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