The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has revealed here plans to create two regional safeguarding hubs in southern Africa and the Pacific islands and initial work on a European hub.
The hubs are intended to provide guidance to athletes on safeguarding matters and access to psychosocial support, legal aid and other forms of assistance.
It is hoped the regional element will build on existing services and enable them to be provided in athletes’ own language with understanding of local context.
A network of trained safeguarding officers are set to be coordinated by both hubs.
This is set to be overseen by a newly-created International Safe Sport Task Force, featuring representatives from sport, inter-Governmental organisations and civil society.
Southern Africa and the Pacific islands are the first two regions set to benefit on a pilot basis, followed by Europe in due course.
IOC Safeguarding Working Group chair and Executive Board member Prince Feisal al Hussein hailed the establishment of the regional hubs as an important step.
“With this initiative we are following up on the request of the Olympic movement stakeholders to take the lead and to develop an approach which works locally,” the Jordanian official said.
“Over the past few months, we discussed how we can bridge the gap between the work being done internationally and locally to safeguard athletes.
“With the establishment of pilot regional safeguarding hubs in Southern Africa and the Pacific Islands, we are taking a bottom-up approach – critical in this field.
“We provide standardised principles that can be adapted on the local level, aligned with the culture and context.
“By the region, for the region.”
An International Safe Sport Framework is set to be established among the other safeguarding measures approved by the IOC Executive Board in Mumbai.