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Call for articles: Sport and refugees

Copyrights: UNICEF

Call for articles: Sport and refugees

What role can sport play in tackling the impact of displacement on young people? We want to hear from you!

Today, on UN International Youth Day (12 August), the sportanddev team is pleased to announce the next stage of our partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNHCR, the UN’s Refugee Agency, has global responsibility for safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of people who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict and persecution. We are working with them to showcase good practice and innovation in the field of sport and refugees, and to stimulate debate and consultation with policymakers and practitioners on what more could be done.

Our partnership commenced on World Refugee Day on 20 June, and today we are announcing a call for articles on sport and displacement.

  • According to UNHCR, 79.5 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide in 2019 as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order. An estimated 30-34 million (around 40%) of those people were aged below 18.
  • During crises and displacement, young people are at risk of exploitation and abuse, especially when they are unaccompanied or separated from their families. Children bear the brunt of internal displacement in some countries. For example, in Afghanistan, Somalia and Burkina Faso, children constituted more than 60% of internally displaced people, whilst in Pakistan and Yemen it ranged between 53 and 57%.

With this in mind, we are inviting you to submit articles to sportanddev on the issue of sport and displacement. You can contribute on behalf of an organisation highlighting how you are tackling the issue or as an individual sharing your views on the topic. We are open to receiving articles on a range of subjects, but some questions to consider are:

  • How is your organisation using sport and/or physical activity to protect and preserve the rights of refugees?
  • There are many ways in which sport can be used to support refugees. The UNHCR, IOC and Terre des Hommes sport for protection toolkit reports that social inclusion, social cohesion and psychosocial wellbeing are especially important. How can sport be used to tackle those three issues?
  • What other issues are your organisation tackling, apart from those listed above?
  • How far have sports governing bodies advanced in their work with refugees, and what more needs to be done? How effective are initiatives like the Refugee Olympic Team?
  • What other initiatives would you like to see from the international sport and development community?
  • An indicator on refugees was not added to the Sustainable Development Goals framework until December 2019. Is this indicative of the lack of recognition for the rights of refugees?
  • What risks can sport present to refugees, especially young people who have been forcibly displaced? How do we mitigate and safeguard against these risks?
  • With the global growth of sport and development, what examples of knowledge or training can be shared amongst development organisations working with refugees? How can sportanddev help to share them?
  • Where do you see the future for this movement around sport and refugees? Will your organisation be involved in, or affected by any of the 840 pledges made at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, for example around resettlement or education?

Contributors are free to explore other questions in addition to those listed. Please submit responses to by Friday, 11 September 2020 (deadline extended). Articles should ideally be 500-800 words, though longer or shorter articles may be considered. If possible, you should also include a high-res image with copyright information. 

Please also include a 1-2 sentence biography of the author(s) and links to any websites or social media profiles you would like associated with the post.

The deadline comes shortly before our week of activity on Sport and Refugees commences. The week will begin on Monday 14 September. It will include a webinar on Monday 21 September (the UN's International Day of Peace) and a live Twitter Q&A on Thursday 24 September.



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Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 11:47