The Leisure and Human Rights Special Interest Gorup (SIG) was established in mid-2022, following the work of the World Leisure Academy Taskforce in reviewing and updating the WLO Charter for Leisure. This SIG differs somewhat from others in that it did not result from a coming together of an existing group of scholars already committed to the field, since there has not been a tradition of research in the leisure and human rights field. The aim of the SIG is to encourage colleagues to join in developing such a tradition. As the bibliography on the Charter web-page shows, there is a growing body of work focused on gender, race, disability and children, in the specific areas of sport, tourism and events, sometimes referring to human rights and sometimes using the language ofsocial justice. However, there is much work to be done to develop links between this sort of research and leisure and cultural rights as part of the global human rights system.
Over the last two years, in continuing the work of the World Leisure Academy and as co-chairs of the Leisure and Human Rights SIG, we have been engaged in promotion of the revised Charter. This has involved: developing a draft research agenda for the field; establishing a presence for the revised Charter on the WLO website; publication of articles (in five journals); giving presentations on leisure, human rights and the Charter at conferences (in five countries, including one as part of a UN world conference program and one as an invited keynote address); conducting webinars (three WLO-based); developing proposals for on-line courses on human rights and leisure; and assembling a mailing list of interested individuals (over 100).
The work will move to another stage in December, at the New Zealand WLO Congress, when the SIG will hold its first face-to-face meeting. This will include presentations of some case-studies of research on leisure and human rights in selected countries and discussion of the draft research agenda. You can find more information about this SIG here.
Atara Sivan and Tony Veal
Co-chairs of the Leisure and Human Rights SIG