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Right To Play Joins IOC and UNHCR to Pledge Support for Refugees Using the Power of Sport

Mai La Refugee Camp - Thailand.jpg

Ahead of the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, Right To Play has joined a coalition, led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help young refugees discover their potential through sports.

Sport has a unique unifying power. It can bridge divides and make borders disappear. It can transcend ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, language and creed. Whether inspiring us to support individual athletes or bringing us together to create teams or on our own, sport can contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world. These qualities find further expression in the ideals of the Olympic movement: friendship, solidarity, mutual understanding, respect, and fair play.

It is in this spirit today that we have come together to renew and expand our commitment to building a better world for every young person, through sport. There are already many initiatives providing organised sport and recreation for young refugees and their host community peers around the world. But there are not enough.

The Global Compact on Refugees, the international framework for strengthened cooperation and solidarity with refugees and affected host countries, specifically recognizes the contribution of sport and sporting entities in the protection and well-being of refugees and the internally displaced. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) leading a Sports Coalition pledge to provide sporting opportunities to young refugees ahead of the first-ever Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on 17 and 18 December, 2019.

For the complete pledge and list of signatories, click here.

For the IOC press release, click here.