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Browsing by Author "Laakkonen, Ida"

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  • Laakkonen, Ida (2020)
    There are multiple positive aspects of sports, including the development of physical, emotional, and social abilities, which promote the well-being and health of children. The health, educational, and social benefits of sports, along with its cultural significance, make sports enormously popular. However, it has become evident that sport is not always a safe environment for children, and that violence and abuse can occur in sports. The performance-centered nature of sports can have adverse effects on the children involved. The safeguarding of children participating in sports has become an increasingly prominent concern in policy-making around the world. National and international organizations now recognize that children and young people in sports can be at risk of exploitation and abuse; this concern, along with increased media coverage around recent cases, has led to an emergence of new initiatives and policies aimed at protecting athletes. This thesis aims to illustrate why safeguarding is such an important issue and how the whole society can benefit from implementing safeguarding policies. There is still much resistance regarding the necessity of safeguarding. Athletes and safeguarding policy advocates often find their voices silenced and sports communities dismissive of the issue. Even though preventative safeguarding agendas are increasing, they are by no means complete or worldwide. This thesis proposes a more uniform approach to one of sports law’s significant challenges: safeguarding and athlete protection in sport. The structure of this thesis starts with an overview of the methods used to demonstrate the societal context of safeguarding in sports in chapter one, followed by definitions of and specificities of the topics covered: sports and safeguarding, in chapters three and four. Chapter four highlights the specific environment of sports and the risks involved in sports, which are then demonstrated in chapter five, with cases that have occurred across different sports due to these risks. Chapters six and seven go into detail regarding the regulations of safeguarding and child protection at an international, European, and national level. The national regulations in chapter seven have been chosen to provide insight into the similarities of how the framework of safeguarding has begun and continued to develop effectively in those countries. Chapter eight focuses on the issues and the problems that arise when sexual abuse cases are investigated and sanctioned in the sporting environment, and the challenges that organizations face if they are to maintain their autonomy in regulating safeguarding. Followed by legal and moral reasons, sports organizations should make safeguarding their priority in chapter nine. Chapters ten and eleven conclude all the previous chapters, with emphasis on the possibilities for future improvement on safeguarding in sports. The thesis is focused on a general overview of the reasons why safeguarding is such a crucial aspect of sports, using cases, and different legislative material to show an overview of the current situation. The aim is not to highlight a specific sport or country, the sources used, however, show that some sports have had more discussion on the topic, and this is why these sports receive more attention than others. Although this does not mean that abuse does not happen as frequently in other sports; it just shows the extent of the issue that has emerged over the past years. There may very well be other sports or cases in the future that receive even more attention, with safeguarding being discussed and prioritized even more. This thesis aims to continue this vital discussion since, as concluded in this thesis, the more awareness of the issue there is, the better chance we have of preventing the abuse.