Sport is an important facet of modern life. Sports’ governance is facing many challenges in a world that is rapidly changing and it can also, if unchecked, lead to human rights issues. Practicing sport is a human right and a goal shared by all governments.

The 16th Conference of Council of Europe Ministers responsible for Sport, organised in line with the activities of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport, has recently adopted two resolutions:

    1. A European approach to sport policies: the revision of the European Sports Charter.The Ministers stressed that the revised text should facilitate access to sports for all layers of society, inter alia through investing in infrastructures for the practice of physical activity at the grassroots level, both inside and outside school settings. They also encouraged member States to develop national sports strategies, as well as exchange best practices and experiences. The European Sports Charter, continental pioneering reference point for the development of sport policies, provides normative guidance in the field since its adoption in 1992 with the latest update in 2001 (the Code of Sports Ethics acts as a complement to it). Since then, sport has changed substantially and therefore the need for a revision.
    2. Human rights in sport. Considering the importance of a human rights-based approach while addressing sport integrity issues such as safety, security and service at sports events, combatting doping and the manipulation of sports competitions, the Ministers encouraged member States to further enhance the protection and promotion of human rights in this field, as well as to promote sport and its many social and individual benefits to strengthen society’s resilience to global crises.

The session has been chaired by Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport, Greece. Closing speeches have been delivered by Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni and Niels Nygaard, Acting President of the European Olympic Committees.

The next Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport will take place in Turkey.


Giuseppe Zaffuto, spokesperson for the Council of Europe in Italy.

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