The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is celebrated annually on April 6. It is a celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development, and to encourage peace, respect and understanding. For Mission 89 the theme for 2021 was: The contribution of sport to the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 in ending human trafficking.

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SDG Target 8.7 calls for all nations to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour” (UNICEF USA, 2016).

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are internationally set targets that call for countries to promote human rights and have a balanced focus on social, economic and environmental issues. SDG 8 is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

According to ILO, there are more than 40 million current victims of the various forms of human trafficking globally. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal activity in the world and is an enormously profitable industry, making 150 billion USD a year. Likewise, the sports industry is a trillion-dollar business, and the commercialisation of sport has generated a number of lucrative businesses in and around the industry.

Rapid commercialisation and increasing demand for young talent affects supply chains, resulting in forms of exploitation such as sexual abuse and forced labour. Recruitment efforts that aim to scout the “right type” of athlete, one that is cheap to buy and would be profitable to sell or loan, greatly increases the risk of young people being bought and traded as commodities – the very definition of human trafficking.

Mission 89 and UTS believe that sport can make a powerful contribution to SDG Target 8.7. This contribution encompasses three key elements: awareness, education and partnership. They involve utilising the powerful platform of sport organisations & clubs and the influence of athletes, to raise awareness of human trafficking, as well as educational practices such as mandatory safeguarding and anti-trafficking training for officials working with young people, and forging partnerships with anti-trafficking stakeholders.

A virtual outreach webinar was organised by Mission 89 and UTS was invited to join forces sharing a youth-oriented organisation perspective. The event was hosted by Mission 89 Co-founder Yann Coelenbier and attendees included: Youth, anti-trafficking NGOs, sport for development organisations, policy actors, sport agents and representatives.

 The webinar began with a powerful and thought-provoking presentation of #NotInOurGame Anti-trafficking Awareness Raising Campaign by Daniele Canepa.

A multi-perspective panel discussion followed with Emmanuel Emery, a Lawyer and Sports Agent at Step Consulting, Dr. İlknur Hacısoftaoğlu a Faculty Member of the Sport Management Department at Istanbul Bilgi University, Gordon Miller, Cyclist and Human Rights Advocate. Miller is also a Guinness Book of World Records Holder and our very own CEO, Julia Govinden.

“We have seen the power of sport to inspire and facilitate positive change the world over. In the last year, the world has witnessed various sporting platforms and athletes using their celebrity to press home the need to uphold human rights for all. We should build on this momentum, harnessing the power of sport, which is one thing that unites us all, to end human trafficking. With this conversation we hope to merge the efforts of various organisations, build new partnerships to push this agenda farther” said Lerina Bright, Executive Director, Mission 89.

The event was an opportunity to shine the spot light on this humanitarian crisis and provide an understanding of what constitutes good practice within the policies and programmes promoting the safe employment and migration of young people.  

Article Source: Mission 89

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#NotInOurGame #SDGTarget8.7 #AchieveSDG8.7