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Sport, Business & Human Rights: 2019 in Review - Progression, Regression or Procrastination?

Sport, Business & Human Rights: 2019 in Review -  Progression, Regression or Procrastination?

2019 was quite possibly the most dramatic year in which the intersection between sport, business and human rights was never far from the attention of global sport leaders and human rights activists.

In this webinar, Brendan Schwab and Gigi Alford (of the World Players Association and Sport & Rights Alliance) and Craig Foster, former international footballer & broadcaster & social justice & human rights campaigner will look back on 2019, including:

  • The key cases and campaigns, including Hakeem Al Araibi, Iran’s stadia ban and the tragedy of ongoing athlete abuse
  • Providing an assessment of how various sports governing bodies – such as the IOC, FIFA, Commonwealth Sport, World Athletics and WADA – are approaching human rights
  • How global sport can embrace the human rights of athletes, and what a genuine voice for athletes actually looks like.



  • Brendan Schwab, Executive Director, World Players Association, UNI Global Union
  • Gigi Alford, Head of Sport and Human Rights, World Players Association, UNI Global Union (also, Coordinator of the Sport & Rights Alliance)
  • Craig Foster, former international footballer & broadcaster & social justice & human rights campaigner


The webinar will take place on the 4 December 2019 at 7pm GMT/8pm CET. To sign-up click here.


About the Speakers

BH Schwab 2018Brendan Schwab, Executive Director, World Players Association, UNI Global Union 

The World Players Association unites 85,000 players across professional sport through more than 100 player associations in over 60 countries.

Its Executive Director Brendan Schwab brings expertise in organising, labour and human rights law, collective bargaining and dispute resolution, particularly in professional team sports, after 25 years in leading major player associations and representing elite athletes in Australia and around the world.

Before assuming his current position in July 2015, Brendan played an instrumental role for FIFPro, the world footballers association, in supporting players throughout the world. He served FIFPro as a board member, Vice President and as Chair of FIFPro Asia/Oceania. He acted as a judge of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and, as a member of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee, helped drive FIFA’s ban of the third-party ownership of players.

Brendan co-founded and led the Australian Athletes’ Alliance, which represents eight player associations and over 3,500 athletes in sports such as Australian rules, basketball, rugby union, rugby league, cricket, netball, horse racing and football. He also co-founded Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), serving as Chief Executive and General Counsel while advancing its profession and the reform of the Australian football industry. This saw the creation of a new professional league, Australia’s engagement with Asia and the creation of programs to support the holistic development of players during and after their athletic careers.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Business Administration.

Gigi AlfordGigi Alford, Head of Sport and Human Rights, World Players Association, UNI Global Union (also, Coordinator of the Sport & Rights Alliance)

Ginous “Gigi” Alford leads the Sport and Human Rights work at World Players Association, an autonomous sector of UNI Global Union based in Nyon, Switzerland, representing more than 85,000 professional athletes across 15+ sports in over 60 countries.  She also coordinates the Sport & Rights Alliance, a global coalition of leading NGOs, sports organizations, and trade unions partnering to embed human rights in world sport. Previously, Ms. Alford served as Special Advisor in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where she was the driving force behind the inaugural Sporting Chance Forum.  She began her career as a sports journalist, first with the San Francisco Chronicle and then the San Diego Union-Tribune. Her dissertation for Oxford University’s Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law was a legal analysis of FIFA’s responsibilities to respect human rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Twitter: @gigialford

craig fosterCraig Foster, Former International Footballer & Broadcaster & Social Justice & Human Rights Campaigner 

419th Australian football international (Socceroo) and 40th Captain, Oceania Player of the Year and Australian Team of the Century nominee with decades of experience in broadcasting, government and diplomacy and social justice. Formerly a Director of COALAR (DFAT) and currently the Australian Multicultural Council (Dept Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs) played various sports diplomacy roles including Chef de Mission NSW Govt to Brazil and bilateral meetings, MERCOSUR. Heavily involved in indigenous football and rights, refugee children and refugee rights and homelessness through sport programs. Ambassador for Amnesty, Australia Committee Human Rights Watch, UNSW Australian Human Rights Institute. Three Logies as part of the SBS FIFA World Cup team, named an AFR BOSS True Leader 2019 for the #SaveHakeem campaign, author and columnist, Bachelor of Laws, Masters in International Sport Management. Life Member, former CEO and Chair of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA). Named one of Australia’s Best Dressed Men, though heavily disputes this dubious honour.


Sean Cottrell 2018Sean Cottrell (Chair), CEO, LawInSport

Sean is the founder and CEO of LawInSport. Founded in 2010, LawInSport has become the "go to sports law website" for sports lawyers and sports executives across the world.

Sean works with lawyers and law firms to create targeted and accessible legal content, develop marketing strategies and provide training on digital media. Sean is a visiting lecturer of sports business and sports ethics at Ithica College and Syracuse University London campuses.

Sean has written articles and produced podcasts and videos on the regulation of boxing, match-fixing, doping, sports governance, third party ownership in football, sports sponsorship and social media.

Before founding Sean studied sport science and law after working in the legal sector for 15 years in finance and marketing. Sean has worked for some of leading international law firms including DLA Piper, Simmons & Simmons, CMS Cameron McKenna and SJ Berwin. His passions are law, sport, marketing, education, technology and charity.


Event Properties

Event Date 04-12-2019 19:00
Event End Date 04-12-2019 20:00
Individual Price FREE

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