Seminar on human rights of transgender and intersex athletes

25th April 2023

Seminar on human rights of transgender and intersex athletes

LEAP attends Council of Europe seminar 

LEAP Sports participated in a seminar on protecting and promoting the human rights of transgender and intersex athletes in sports which took place on Monday 24th in Paris and online, organised by the Council of Europe’s Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS).

The seminar was a follow-up of the 2021 EPAS Diversity Conference, and updated the situation of trans and intersex athletes. Irena Guidikova, the Head of the Children’s Rights and Sports Values Department, opened the seminar.

Dr Sone Erikainen moderated the first panel on combating discrimination against transgender and intersex athletes which covered the introduction of the new IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination and subsequent policy updates from international federations, and looked at the impact on trans and intersex athletes. This featured inputs from Madeleine Pape from the International Olympic Committee, Gabriela Matei of the Sport Division at the Council of Europe, Lombe Mwambwa from the Global Observatory on Gender Equality and Sport, Athletes' Rights Advocate Payoshni Mitra, and Football Vs Transphobia Campaign lead Natalie Washington.

The second panel was moderated by Andrej Pisl from the European University Sports Association (EUSA and focused on ensuring greater educational awareness of the human rights of transgender and intersex athletes in sports and good practice in the field. This panel featured inputs from Hugh Torrance Co-President of the EGLSF, Gabriella Calleja who is Chair of the Council of Europe’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit (SOGI), and Thays Prado, a Gender Advisor at the Centre for Sport and Human Rights. The panel also included input from long time collaborators with LEAP Sports the Seitenwechsel Sports Club in Berlin. They were represented by co-founder and Chair Conny-Hendrik Schälicke, who presented their charter and toolkit for gender diversity in sports and how it provides a framework to create a safer space for all, but especially trans and inter persons in sports. Rounding off this panel was Carolina Sousa E SaÌ€, who was a participant of the Healthy Lifestyle For All Youth Ideas Labs Initiative as well as Senior Project Officer here at LEAP Sports. Carolina discussed her experience of the youth lab, and her groups proposal 'TRANSform Lives Through Sport', as well as presenting some of the activities of LEAP Sports and reflecting on the challenges in implementing these.

In the afternoon, invited participants and experts took part in a consultation workshop, addressing the biggest challenges and opportunities in protection and promotion of human rights of transgender and intersex athletes. The results will be used in preparation of a new educational toolkit, to be published by the Council of Europe.

Written on 25th April 2023.