UN Human Rights Council 47st session, 7th of July 2021 

Quadrennial Panel on Sports & Olympic Ideal

Intervention by Denmark, on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden

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I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.

We wish to thank the panelists for their valuable insights.

In today’s focus on leveraging sport as a way to promote human rights for young people, the link to the right to health seems obvious. Participating in sports fosters not only physical but also mental health of young people.

But sports can have a much larger impact on young people’s experience with, and perception of, human rights. Participation in sports should encourage social inclusion of children and youth from different cultural or socio-economic backgrounds without discrimination of any kind, and promote gender equality. As such, sports can play an important role in promoting the values of equal treatment and non-discrimination in children and youth, including amongst those with disabilities.

These values should of course also be respected in the world of professional athletes. We cannot expect young people to realize the positive potential sports can have on human rights, if they at the same time witness that those human rights are not respected in the realm of professional sports.

In this regard, the Nordic and Baltic countries call for promotion of non-discrimination and respect for all human rights, including the rights of migrant workers, minorities and  LGBTI-persons, as well as freedom of expression and assembly, in the planning, preparation and execution of major sporting events.

Thank you.