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European football unites for Human Rights

UEFA to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration.

UEFA will make use of the reach of its flagship club competition matches to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by prominently displaying in-stadium perimeter board messages promoting human rights during this week’s highly anticipated matches of the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Europa Conference League and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Addressing participants at the Sporting Chance Forum hosted at the United Nations’ Palais des Nations in Geneva last week, UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis reaffirmed the organisation’s steadfast commitment to human rights. This announcement follows the recent unveiling of the Human Rights Declaration for UEFA EURO 2024, outlining actionable measures that demonstrates football’s potential to strengthen society’s respect for human rights.

Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA General Secretary

“In this 75th year of the Universal Declaration, we aim to deliver a powerful global message. We are pleased to support the United Nations’ initiative by commemorating this important milestone during all of this week’s UEFA club competition matches, thus spreading this fundamental message to supporters attending our matches as well as the households of millions of fans worldwide.”

The boards will feature the hashtag #HUMANRIGHTS75 and the tagline “Freedom, Equality, and Justice For All,” reflecting the core values of the UDHR. These messages, appearing in rotation with other core UEFA messages such as “PEACE”, “#FOOTBALL” and the collaboration between UEFA and the flagship EU Green Deal, will serve as a compelling reminder that the pursuit of human rights is a collective endeavour, and football holds a pivotal role in transmitting these values.

This initiative underscores UEFA’s partnership with the Centre for Sport and Human Rights (CSHR), an independent, multi-stakeholder organisation dedicated to advancing a sports world that fully respects and promotes human rights. The CSHR brings together intergovernmental organisations, national governments, sports bodies, athletes, host cities, sponsors, broadcasters, civil society representatives, trade unions and employers. UEFA has been an active member of CSHR’s Advisory Council since its inception in 2018.

Mary Harvey, Chief Executive Centre for Sport and Human Rights

“UEFA competitions’ global reach provides a significant platform to raise awareness about human rights and connect universal principles with diverse audiences. We commend UEFA’s tangible commitment to our mission, and to embedding human rights into the DNA of their events and operations.”

UEFA’s core purpose to promote football aligns with the fundamental principles of the UDHR, including anti-discrimination, gender equity, child safety, inclusion, and accessibility. These pillars are central to UEFA’s continuous efforts in upholding human rights values and stand as the cornerstone of UEFA’s sustainability strategy “Strength Through Unity”.

Lene Wendland, Chief Business and Human Rights, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

“It is an important year for sports bodies to renew their commitments to respect human rights in their own operations as a way to rejuvenate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and advance its promise of freedom, equality and justice for all. We commend UEFA's renewed commitment to embed human rights throughout its events and activities.”