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In Focus

Take a closer look at some of the events and actions taking place across the world to highlight how we can stand up for someone’s rights. Join us and together we will make a difference.


© Sportsfile

Irish football stands up for human rights

Football and human rights share so many fundamental values. Fairness, first of all. Football is a powerful force for equality, anti-discrimination, diversity and integration. It operates within rules of respect and is fundamentally generous and open-hearted. And as Nelson Mandela said, it can create hope, where there was once only despair. Many of us look up to players and are inspired by the messages they embody – including universal principles of human rights.

This is why the Football Association of Ireland and the United Nations Human Rights Office have decided to partner on the occasion of the World Cup qualifier Republic of Ireland vs. Austria, on 11 June. Preceded by two weeks of mobilisation by Irish supporters and international players about human rights, on social media and in clubs, the match will be attended by Irish President Michael D. Higgins and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein – making this a symbolic occasion to call on all fans to stand up for the essential values of football – and humanity.

This partnership is part of a global effort by the United Nations Human Rights Office to push back against xenophobia, discrimination and hatred. “Stand up for someone’s rights today” is a campaign that asks all of us to play a meaningful role to promote and defend human rights in our daily lives and communities. In the workplace, at home, in public transport, on the pitch – all of us have the power to defend the rights of others.

Join the campaign, take action and inform yourself about human rights.