Mega Sports Events and the Rights of Children and Adolescents
Organizers: ANDI – Comunication and Rights
Supporting Entities: Secretariat for Human Rights of the Office of the President of the Republic of Brazil and Secretary of the Promotion of the Rights of Children and Adolescents and National Council on the Child and Adolescent – Conanda;
Brazil will host a World Cup for the second time. The excitement and expectations are comparable to 1950, when the country hosted the international event for the first time and disputed the title with Uruguay at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. However, Brazil and Brazilians are not the same as they were 54 years ago.
The country is now an emerging power in the international arena, displaying important social progress, especially in the last two decades, when there was a significant reduction of poverty and indicators, especially in health and education, improved substantially. These improvements are clearly associated with the process of consolidation of its democracy.
Just like Brazil, the World Cup 2014 will be different from the one held in 1950. In the first World Cup held in the country there were 13 teams competing in 22 matches in six different stadiums and a total of 1.04 million spectators.
In World Cup 2014, 32 teams will play a total of 64 matches in stadiums in 12 different cities across Brazil, with an expected number of 2.6 million foreign and Brazilian spectators. An event of this proportion has impacts that go beyond the economic dimension, affecting, in many ways, the life of distinct population groups – among these, children and teenagers.
There are many direct and indirect benefits that can be generated by a World Cup when younger age segments are focused: encouragement to practice sports, contact with different cultures, enhancement of national self-esteem and improved urban mobility, among other aspects that can constitute the so-called social legacy of the World Cup.
But it will be in protecting vulnerable children and adolescents that Brazil has a greater opportunity to advance. The serious violations of rights that threaten these groups – such as sexual violence and child labor – have been an issue of concern for authorities, experts and social movements in face of the larger risks during mega events.
For this reason, these segments have built an important mechanism of articulation: The Agenda of Convergence Protect Brazil. Bringing together representatives of the Government, civil society, the business sector and of international cooperation, the collective has contributed to consolidate a positive legacy for Brazilian boys and girls, from a set of integrated and intersectional actions that reach the 12 cities hosting the competition.
This publication was edited by ANDI – Communication and Rights, in partnership with the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency (SDH/PR), the National Secretariat for the Promotion of Children’s and Adolescents Rights (SNPDC) and the National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (Conanda) with the purpose of protecting these groups.
Based on the understanding that media is a key element for strengthening democracy, guaranteeing human rights and inclusive development, this Guide aims at drawing the attention of foreign and Brazilian journalists who will cover the World Cup not only to the risks, but also to the mechanisms of protection for children and adolescents.
Without ignoring the complexity of an event of this magnitude and the challenges for Brazilian society, the publication presents topics to help understand Brazil, the relevance of the 2014 World Cup for the country and the importance of the tournament to the maturing process of our democracy.