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|Title:||Locating and mitigating risks to children associated with major sporting events|
|Keywords:||Child exploitation;Major sporting events|
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis|
|Citation:||Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 2014|
|Abstract:||Despite recent efforts to blend sport and human rights, activism for children's rights in sport has historically been marginalised. The positive 'social legacy' of sport events frequently masks more problematic issues, including child exploitation. We argue that harms to children in hosting communities of major sporting events (MSEs) should be a focus for both research and intervention since the plight of such children is currently a political blind spot. The article examines the evidence for four major sources of risk for children associated with such events: child labour, displacement resulting from forced evictions for infrastructure development and street clearance, child sexual exploitation, and human trafficking affecting children. The weakness of the resulting evidence is explained in relation to the methodological and ethical difficulties of conducting research on such hidden and marginal populations and to the fact that risks to children are often masked by adult social problems. It is argued that much more robust research designs, focused specifically on children, are essential in order to verify the many assertions made about risks to children associated with MSEs. Some mitigating interventions are briefly examined and an action plan for risk-mitigation work at future MSEs is proposed. Finally, drawing on wider debates about Centres and Peripheries in social and economic theory, we question whether major international sport organisations might choose to engage with projects like child protection for strategic rather than humanitarian reasons, using them as a kind of ethical fig leaf in order to bolster their power bases against threats from the margins. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers|
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