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Sport and Physical Activity as a Human Right for All

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1 Sport and Physical Activity as a Human Right for All
Eli. A. Wolff Sport in Society at Northeastern University June 26, 2009

2 “The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” - W.E.B. Du Bois

3 Sport in Society Sport in Society works locally, nationally and globally to identify and address social problems in sport and in society. The Center conducts research, develops programs that offer solutions, and educates and advocates on the emerging issues. Sport in Society works to create a just world by eliminating discrimination, hate and violence, while creating lasting solutions, and promoting healthy development and social responsibility.

4 Sport in Society Raise Awareness Challenge Thinking Open Dialogue
Inspire Leadership

5 “When I first started running, I was so embarrassed I'd walk when cars passed me. I'd pretend I was looking at the flowers.” - Joan Benoit Samuelson

6 "I look at victory as milestones on a very long highway."
-Joan Benoit Samuelson

7 Myth of Normalcy “The normal, norm, or normalcy do not exist in the real world of people, despite the fact that we are told that we can modify our behavior and train our bodies and minds to reach it. We are told to chase it – in our culture, in our families, in our lives. But when we chase it – as I did – it disappears. Normalcy is like a horizon that keeps receding as you approach it.” - Mooney, 2007

8 “A combination of contradictory or incongruous words.”
Oxymoron “A combination of contradictory or incongruous words.” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

9 Athlete Female athlete Black athlete Disabled athlete Gay athlete

10 Rights from Wrongs “As human beings have recognized the wrongs of such institutions as slavery, genocide, and religious oppression, they have constructed new rights to prevent the recurrence of old wrongs.” "Rights do not come from God, nature, logic, or law alone. They arise out of particular human experiences with injustice.” - Dershowitz, 2004

11 “The sport, recreation and play domain, far from being trivial, is essential for fully realizing the human rights promise.” - Hubbard, 2004

12 Human Rights Defined “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

13 Sport Defined “All forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport.” - UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace, 2003

14 1978 UNESCO Charter on Physical Education and Sport
The practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all.

15 1979 CEDAW States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women: The same opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular: The right to participate in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life.

16 1985 Convention Against Apartheid in Sports
States Parties strongly condemn apartheid and undertake to pursue immediately by all appropriate means the policy of eliminating the practice of apartheid in all its forms from sports.

17 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child
States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

18 2003 UN Inter-Agency Task-Force SDP
Access to and participation in sport is a human right and essential for individuals of all ages to lead healthy and fulfilling lives

19 2008 International Working Group Sport for Development and Peace
“The explicit mention of sport, play and physical activity in so many human rights instruments underscores the centrality of these activities to human health, development and well-being.”

20 Olympic Charter "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

21 Olympic Charter "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.“

22 IOC Sport for All “Sport for All is a movement promoting the Olympic ideal that sport is a human right for all individuals regardless of race, social class and sex. The movement encourages sports activities that can be exercised by people of all ages, both sexes and different social and economic conditions.”

23 “The Olympic flag is a universal symbol…it belongs to everyone…it belongs to mankind… it is the expression of universality and of brotherhood of the world.” - Rogge, 2008

24 “As Olympism and human rights have the same philosophical profile, comparative teaching of these two concepts would be well received not only by the academic community but also by the practitioners of sport” - Bhuvanendra, 1998/9

25 Ableism “Devaluation of disability results in societal attitudes that uncritically assert that it is better for a child to walk than roll, speak than sign, read print than read Braille, spell independently than use a spell-check, and hang out with non-disabled kids as opposed to other disabled kids.” - Hehir, 2002

26 Internalized Ableism “Ableism devalues people with disabilities and results in segregation, social isolation and social policies that limit their opportunities for full societal participation. Unfortunately, persons with disabilities are also susceptible to internalizing stereotypes and negative beliefs. This process which we call internalized ableism is similar to internalized racism and sexism of other devalued people.” - Mackelprang and Salsgiver,1999

27 Disability in Sport The Disability in Sport initiative advances access, inclusion, equality, respect, legitimacy and opportunity for people with disabilities in sport and in society.

28 Inclusion “The final stage of integration of people with disabilities in sport competition or organization, in which they are involved, accepted and respected at all levels of the competition or organization.” - Nixon, 2007

29 “Unfortunately many sport governing bodies and sport systems continue to perpetuate the false premise that separate, segregated opportunities for sport, leisure and cultural activities by persons with a disability are both desirable and equitable.” - Fay & Wolff, 2009

30 2006 CRPWD 30.5 With a view to enabling persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities, States Parties shall take appropriate measures: a) To encourage and promote the participation, to the fullest extent possible, of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities at all levels; b) To ensure that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to organize, develop and participate in disability-specific sporting and recreational activities and, to this end, encourage the provision, on an equal basis with others, of appropriate instruction, training and resources;

31 2006 CRPWD, cont’d. c) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to sporting, recreational and tourism venues; d) To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system; e) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organization of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities.

32 “The adoption of the CRPD by the UN General Assembly in 2006 and its rapid entry into force by May 2008 shows a dramatic paradigm shift over the past quarter century, culminating in the recognition of persons with disabilities as holding an equal place in global society, while also advancing the underlying principle of equality.” - Lord & Stein, 2009

33 “During the past quarter century, there has been a shift from understanding disability narrowly, as a medical or charity issue that could only be addressed by certain professionals, to a human rights issue that seeks to dismantle socially constructed barriers.” - National Council on Disability, 2002

34 “The CRPD articulates the scope of the right of persons with disabilities to participate in sport, recreation and leisure, as well as the right of disabled children to play, in the fullest expression seen to date in a human rights convention.” - Lord & Stein, 2009

35 Activism “Activism is as vast as the human imagination, as deep as the human mind, as bold as the human heart. Activism should not be confused with specific tactics; it is rather a particular stance in the world, one that draws attention to the need for repair….

36 …In the first place, activists act
…In the first place, activists act. They engage, participate, contribute, stand up, sit in, initiate, and move. These are the signature characteristics. They question received wisdom, they wonder what could be but is not yet, and then they act…

37 …They open their eyes, identify injustices, and bring them to light so that they and others might see the truth of things more clearly, might feel the weight of them more fully. Sometimes they refuse to participate, and other times they participate in things forbidden to them, creating in that way the world they would like to live in.” - William Ayers, Teaching Toward Freedom, 2004

38 Fear Factor “By definition, of course, we believe the person with a stigma is not quite human…We construct a stigma-theory, an ideology to explain his inferiority and account for the danger he represents…” - Goffman, 1963

39 “We need to develop a strategy of athletes, advocates, and strategic allies to help break down the barriers and reduce the fear factor present in the change towards a more inclusive and equitable society.” - Fay & Wolff, 2009

40 “We must become the change we wish to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

41 Sport and Physical Activity as a Human Right for All
Eli. A. Wolff Sport in Society at Northeastern University June 26, 2009

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