FIFAhaveannouncedthecreationof anindependentadvisorybodycomposedofinternationalexpertsfromtheUnitedNations,tradeunions,civilsocietyandbusinesstoprovideadviceonissuesrelevant fortheimplementationoftheirhumanrightsresponsibilities.
The board is scheduled to meet at least twice a year, with the first meeting to be held at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 13 March 2017. After each meeting, a report will be published with the board’s recommendations to FIFA and an update from FIFA on how it is addressing previous recommendations from the board.
“It is the first advisory board of its kind for any sports federation, and we look forward to the pioneering work we will jointly undertake,” FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said in a statement.
The panel will include representatives from FIFA sponsors Adidas and Coca-Cola, corruption watchdog Transparency International, the United Nations (UN), children’s rights organisation Terre des Hommes and the world players’ organisation FIFPro, selected on the basis of their expertise in human rights-related matters.
Possible issues on which the board may choose to provide guidance include labour standards, health and safety, property rights, security, discrimination and freedom of expression.
“The establishment of the Human Rights Advisory Board is a step in the right direction in implementing the recommendations by Professor John Ruggie. We have high expectations for it to be an independent body to seriously and concretely address the concerns raised by workers on the ground,” said Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of the Building and Wood Workers’ International.
The world football ruling body has been criticised in the past for overlooking human rights in countries staging its tournaments, including South Africa and Brazil, which hosted the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, over alleged human rights violations while there are also concerns about Russia and Qatar which are staging the next two global tournaments.
In September 2016, FIFA disbanded their anti-racism task force despite ongoing concerns about discriminatory behaviour in Russia, the hosts of the 2018 World Cup.