Houston 2026 bid team unveils 73-point human rights plan for their hosting

January 14 – With the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be hosted at the end of this year in a country with a questionable human rights track record, the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee have come up with their own community-driven Human Rights Report to support their own venue hosting credentials.

The Houston bid team says its report “advances 73 opportunities prioritized by stakeholders that will ensure human rights protections and advancements are central to all areas of the bid committee’s delivery plan while cementing a positive legacy around the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Houston and beyond.”

Houston made prioritising human rights a pillar of the city’s bid plan, creating the Houston 2026 Human Rights Sub-Committee in March 2019, led by human trafficking expert Minal Patel Davis, who serves as director of the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence.

The sub-committee undertook a formal engagement process with stakeholders, including city and county government, non-profits across human rights areas, and worker’s rights organisations.

Chris Canetti, Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President said: “Through this comprehensive human rights plan, we hope to help implement meaningful change in the way mega sporting events are hosted worldwide as we lean into soccer’s ability to unite people with different views, economic classes and races.”

Houston said that if its host city bid is successful, the 73 opportunities will be delivered across nine thematic areas:

  1. Regulatory and Human Rights Audits with Feedback Mechanism – 10
  2. Responsible and Transparent Procurement – 5
  3. Contracts and Compliance – 8
  4. Policies and Procedures – 8
  5. Creating Funding Streams through the Bid Committee – 3
  6. Building Capacity of Existing Resources – 7
  7. Collaboration and Public/Private Partnerships – 12
  8. Training and Awareness – 10
  9. Community Engagement and Outreach – 10

“As America’s City of the Future, Houston places great emphasis on opportunity for all, and the protection of both basic and expanded human rights. The level of thoughtful engagement we received from our unified community through this stakeholder engagement process and the resulting outcomes give us full confidence that we can deliver a human rights utopia,” said Patel Davis.

Click on the link to view the plan www.houstonsports.org/human-rights-plan

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