The newly published scientific compendium “Sport in the Context of International Cooperation and Development” (Budrich eds., 230 pp., 23€) provides insight into ongoing themes in international sport policy. Cares Project founder and director, Jonas Burgheim, has contributed with the article “Human Rights Due Diligence in German High Level Sports” (p. 79ff.). The article emanates from the Cares Project advisory practice. It provides insight into the implementation of both UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) and German National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights in the sporting environment.

Providing consultancy services in business and human rights just like in human rights and sport, the Cares Project has been an advisor to leading actors in German and European high level sports. Latest clients include the Council of Europe, the German high level athletes’ representation Athleten Deutschland e.V., and the German Football Federation (DFB) among others. With the publication, Jonas Burgheim now provides a glimpse at subject-specific insights into content and challenges of business and human rights work in sports. Following an introductory part providing some foundational information on UNGP and NAP, Burgheim shares considerations on the specific nature of the current business model in high level sports. As centre piece of the article, he then addresses the state of play and the particular challenges faced in implementing human rights due diligence in (German) high level sports before providing an outlook at the potential future relevance of and approach to the theme in a larger policy setting.

Burgheim describes that German high level sports, just like large parts of private business in general, are still in the early stages of taking on business and human rights responsibilities. While first sporting organisations are re-calibrating their role thereto, this can only be considered an initial step of a so far hesitant implementation process. According to Burgheim’s analysis, the depth and intensity of human rights considerations in sports will increase along with a general business obligation to observe human rights requirements in the future. This development is assumed to be fueled by the expected legal steps on German and EU levels.

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