A review Protecting Children from Violence in Sport was released today by UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre, based in Florence, Italy. The report focuses on three years of research by some of the world’s top sport scientists, child rights experts and child advocates, including the findings of Sandra Kirby, UWinnipeg’s Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies. Kirby contributed to the research as part of the International Task Force on Sexual Harassment in Sport. Kirby is one of four distinguished researchers on this International Task Force created in 1993.
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime to work with the experts at the Innocenti Research Centre in Florence,” said Kirby. “We unpacked Paolo Pinheiro’s World Report on Violence Against Children (2006) to find out why sport was not visible as an environment in which children experience violence. The result is that we now have an excellent start in identifying the nature and scope of violence against children in sport around the world. The challenge now is to transform sport into a safe place for all children, on an approach that ensures the exercise of their human rights.”
The UNICEF research provides examples of both good and poor practice, and makes recommendations for sport organizations that would assist in their violence prevention work. In particular, the study recommends:
- Development of structures and systems for eliminating and preventing violence; Education, awareness-raising and training on this subject;
- Promotion of ethical guidelines and codes of conduct as part of the prevention system;
- Improved data collection and knowledge generation.
- Protecting Children from Violence in Sport notes that many of the industrialized countries covered in the report have yet to recognize the need to strengthen child safety and violence prevention measures within sport. Until and unless this is done, the many potential benefits of sport will never be fully realized by all children.
Note to Editors
Media materials are available from the Centre’s newsroom:
UWinnipeg is consistently ranked in the Top-10 in the country on an annual basis by both Maclean’s Magazine and The Globe & Mail newspaper. The University of Winnipeg is a leader in academic excellence, Aboriginal education, environmental studies & sustainability, and theatre & the arts. Find out more by visiting http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/ .Follow us on twitter http://twitter.com/uwinnipeg
FOR MORE INFORMATIONNaniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg P: 204.988.7130, E: [email protected]