Human Rights Day marks conclusion of #SafeHome campaign

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document, which proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world. This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to 'Equality' and Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights. This includes addressing and finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that affect people in the most vulnerable communities, including women and girls, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, LGBTI people, migrants and people with disabilities, among others. FIFA and the World Health Organization teamed up for the second successive year at the end of last month to raise awareness about domestic violence and support those at risk. The campaign kicked off on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and concludes on Human Rights Day: Friday 10 December.

Violence against women remains devastatingly pervasive and starts alarmingly young, according to data from the WHO. Across their lifetime, one in three women aged 15 and over, around 736 million, are subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner – a number that has remained largely unchanged over the past decade. This violence starts early: one in four young women (aged 15-24 years) who have been in a relationship will have already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties. Data suggests women’s exposure to violence has likely increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lockdowns and disruptions to vital support services. The #SafeHome campaign is supported by 23 past and present footballers, many of whom have previously voiced their condemnation of violence against women and children. Two of them who feature in videos released today, are Spezia Calcio Femminile’s Noemi Pascotto, and former Real Madrid, Liverpool, Deportivo La Coruna and Spain defender, Alvaro Arbeloa.

The players from La Spezia Calcio attended special lessons against violence via the Ball for women against all violence project. "The first step to tackling a phenomenon is to know it well, also starting to dispel some stereotypes," explained Pascotto. Anti-violence centers and associations will also collaborate on the project. The five-part #SafeHome video campaign, which supports the WHO’s message to end violence against women and children, was published in seven languages, raising awareness of the risks, and highlighting actions that can be taken to prevent and mitigate these risks through survivor advice and support. There is also content that addresses perpetrator risk and calls for additional governmental effort to support those who are in a vulnerable situation. Arbeloa’s involvement in tackling gender violence came via a partnership between The Real Madrid Foundation, the Fundación Mutua Madrileña and the Red Cross, to support the children of victims of gender violence. The Compañer@s programme enabled fifty boys and girls between 6 and 17 years old, whose mothers were victims of gender violence, to participate in a scholarship. The Real Madrid Foundation social-sports schools are characterised by their educational, inclusive and integrating nature, combining the teaching and learning of team sports, with education in the positive values of sport, which contribute to the integral formation of youngsters: respect, motivation, self-esteem, companionship, healthy habits, autonomy and equality.

“Violence is never the answer, especially at home, which should be a safe environment for everyone, and particularly for women and children. FIFA will continue to make football’s voice heard to amplify this message.” FIFA President Gianni Infantino

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many health challenges and inequities, including violence against women,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We all must come together to end all forms of violence and discrimination. WHO is pleased to team up with FIFA and football stars around the world to help prevent violence against women, and children, support survivors, and make our societies safer and healthier for all.” The 23 past and present players, FIFA and the WHO have published #SafeHome videos on their digital channels. Graphical toolkits have also been provided to all 211 FIFA member associations, to further amplify messages in their territories. The first iteration of the #SafeHome campaign was co-launched in May 2020 between FIFA, the European Commission and the World Health Organisation. Kelly Smith - Message 1 David James - Message 3 Emmanuel Amuneke - Message 5