Sport events and human rights: Positive promotion or negative erosion?

Mark Piekarz, Andrew Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we build upon recent scholarship on sport event legacies to identify, categorise and describe the key processes underpinning sport event interactions with human rights. It develops a simple, representative model to illustrate the points where sport events bisect with human rights and considers what factors can modify these impacts. The development of this model is based on a meta-review of literature and examination of case studies. It is clear from our analysis that sport events are malleable, symbolic and political occurrences that can be positioned to provide evidence and support of benefice or harm to the cause of human rights. The model also provides a nuanced approach to consider how sport event organisers may begin to think about the tactics and strategies that might be employed how they might leverage human rights through their sport event. The model also indicates that Human Rights, being similarly malleable political tools, are paradoxical in application in the sport event context and consequently cannot be assumed to be taken-for-granted as event outcomes or outputs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-236
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Human rights
  • Sport events
  • Sport event impacts
  • Mechanisms and processes


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