Decent work challenges of athletes discussed at ILO Global Dialogue Forum

Decent work challenges of athletes discussed at ILO Global Dialogue Forum

The International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Dialogue Forum on Decent Work in the World of Sport has taken place from 20th to 22nd of January in Geneva, Switzerland. The report ‘Decent work in the world of sport’ was a basis for discussions between the employers (IOE), workers (World Players Association and its affiliates) and the governements. Additionally, sport bodies including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), World Rugby and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) have joined the disucssion about how the ILO labour standards apply to the work of athletes.

Athletes are workers and they need to have their fundamental rights protected. This is a key message from the report that includes references to key research from EU Athletes as well as FIFPro, FICA and International Rugby Players, giving an insignt into decent work challenges faced by athletes in different sports around the globe. The main findings include that professional athletes often face issues such as infufficient representation, disguised employment, discrimination, harassement, abuse, late payement of wages and unenforcable contracts as well as serious occupational health and safety risks as well as lack of effective remedy.

The report also acknowledges Universal Declaration of Players Rights (UDPR) adopted by World Players Association and its affiliates as a tool to address the labour and human rights challenges facing athletes. A core pillar of the UDPR is dedicated to labour rights which includes; the right to work, the right to organize and collectively bargain, the right to share in the economic activity of sport, the right to decent fair and just conditions and the right to physical health, mental health and social  wellbeing.

Our General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk participated in the meeting as a worker representative alonglisde EU Athletes members Paul Flynn (GPA) and Dejan Stefanovic (SSS) and a number of World Players Association affiliates, with FIFPro General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffman leading the delegation. ‘Protecting athletes’ rights as people and workers is the main mission of EU Athletes. The challenges that the players face when it comes to decent work demands actions at national, regional and international level and it is very promissing that the ILO decided to support a dialogue dealing with this important topic.’ she said after the meeting.

After three days of work, the Forum adopted Points of Consensus which will be taken under consideration preparing the further work and possible follow up from the social partners, governements, and other stakeholders when it comes to assuring decent work for athletes.

 

 

 

 

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EU Athletes in Lithuania for the third awareness raising session of Integrisport Erasmus+

EU Athletes in Lithuania for the third awareness raising session of Integrisport Erasmus+

The third awareness raising session on combating sport manipulation and match fixing, within the framework of EU-financed Project Integrisport Erasmus+, was held in Vilnius, Lithuania, between 2-4 December. It was co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the Lithuanian Sport Centre, together with CSCF-Foundation for Sport Integrity.

The productive debate was an occasion to discuss, with the representatives of Lithuanian Law Enforcement and Judiciary, the problematics concerning sport manipulation and match fixing, providing them with insights and recommendations to face and combat this spreading issue.

As representative of players, EU Athletes has been called on stage to share the perspective of the athletes and the work that, alongside its members, is carrying on to fight against match fixing. PROtect Integrity, the project founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, was presented to the audience, depicting the key aspects and benefits for the professional athletes, including the player=led Red Button reporting App.

The Integrisport Erasmus+ awareness raising sessions provide the local law and juridical enforcement with a better knowledge and comprehension about the dangers of sport manipulation on society.

The next session will take place in Helsinki in February 2020.

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EU Directors General for Sport discuss the fight against corruption in sport

EU Directors General for Sport discuss the fight against corruption in sport

A meeting of Directors General for Sport took place on 9-10th of December in Helsinki. Corruption in sport was one of the main topics addressed by the Finnish Presidency, and the discussions came very timely after the adoption of the Council Conclusions on combating corruption in sport. EU Athletes was invited to take part in the debate as a part of the structured dialogue with the sport movement, in order to present the athletes perspective and the work done by the player unions when it comes to fighting corruption in sport. EU Athletes General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk presented the Erasmus+ PROtect Integrity Plus project and the Red Button Reporting App that contributes to the prevention and detection of sport manipulations. She also emphasized on the need to address corruption holistically, focusing on the need to improve the governance of sport organizations and protect the athletes’ rights.

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EU Athletes at the World Conference on Doping in Sport

EU Athletes at the World Conference on Doping in Sport

The event took part in Katowice, Poland on 5-7th of November and gathered around 1500 participants. The Conference and the accompanying meetings of WADA Executive Committee and the Foundation Board were an opportunity to approve the new International Standards as well as the 2021 World Anti Doping Code. Regarding the substantial changes, EU Athletes is pleased to see a new article 10.2.4 on Substance of Abuse, which is a step in the right direction regarding the health and welfare of players, an approach that player unions have been advocating for many years.

The new WADA President Witold Banka and vice-President Yang Yang were also officially appointed in Katowice to start their work in the new respective roles next year. Both Mr Bank and Ms Yang participated in the informal meeting with athlete representatives, including EU Athletes and World Players Association.

For Paulina Tomczyk, EU Athletes General Secretary: ‘We appreciate this approach and count for further dialogue as more work is needed in order to make sure that the anti-doping system is fair, proportionate and respects the rights of players. Athletes need to be able to take part in creation of the rules that affect them and importantly, to be represented by the people of their own chosing in that process.’

For further information, EU Athletes’ members common position on anti-doping can be found here.

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Play the Game 2019 in Colorado Springs

Play the Game 2019 in Colorado Springs

For the first time hosted outside Europe, Play the Game took place in Colorado Springs 13-16th of October 2019. With over 300 participants, the Conference provided a venue for inspiring debates on the most topical themes in the world of sport with the conference’s main theme: Athlete power on the rise. Play the Game 2019 also took on classic themes like doping, whistleblowing, match-fixing, corruption, but also one of the most discussed topics in the U.S., elite sport and college education, will be at centre stage during the conference.

The host city of Play the Game 2019 has a prominent position in U.S. sport and is also an Olympic City USA. The city also hosts the main Olympic and Paralympic Training Center along with over 25 national sports federations plus the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and United States Olympic Committee.

For Paulina Tomczyk, EU Athletes General Secretary who was involved in the organization of the Conference as a member of Programme Committee: ‘Athletes are increasingly standing up for their rights and want to work in partnership with sport to develop in a way which will benefit all stakeholders. Athletes’ power is an essential factor to go forward and as the representative of independent player unions and associations, I am happy to share the model that have already been a part of such positive developments in many professional and elite level sports.’

More information on the event can be found on the website. Videos from conference sessions are available on Play the Game YouTube channel.

 

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Round table on athletes’ involvement in anti-doping

Round table on athletes’ involvement in anti-doping

Last week a meeting was organized in Warsaw, Poland, from the initiative of the future WADA President Witold Banka, to discuss athletes involvement in anti-doping. EU Athletes was invited alongside different athletes commissions and committees and was able to present the common views of our member player unions and athlete associations from around Europe. Our General Secretary Paulina Tomczyk underlined the right of athletes to be represented by their independent and democratic organizations as well as the need for a fair, proportionate and effective anti-doping which also respect the human rights of athletes. This initial discussion will be continued during the next meetings planned in Katowice, Poland in November 2019 and Lausanne, Switzerland.

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