Your rights at sport (for young adults aged 13-17)


This information is for young people aged 13 to 17 years. It helps you understand your key rights – in your everyday life and when you participate in sport.

All people have human rights. Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that all people need, and which help them have a good life. While young people and children have the same rights as adults, they also have special rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These include the right to be protected from harm and abuse, the right to an education, and the right to have a say about matters that affect them. Here in Australia we also have the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. These principles help organisations like your sport keep you safe and happy by putting your needs first.

Some important rights

  • You have the right to be and feel safe. Nobody should hurt you physically, sexually or emotionally.
  • You have the right to privacy. Your body belongs to you. Nobody is allowed to touch you, take photos of you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, or do anything that makes you feel upset, frightened, or unsafe.
  • You have a right to be treated fairly, no matter your ability, who you are or where you are from.
  • You have the right to have your say. You have a right to express your views about things that are important to you. Adults should listen to what you say and take it seriously.

Human rights come with responsibilities. Everyone has the responsibility to respect the rights of others. This means no one should harm you or take your rights away. It also means that you should not do anything to stop others from enjoying their rights too!

If you feel unsafe or feel that someone is not respecting your rights, you should tell an adult you trust. This could be a coach, a parent or carer, or any adult you trust. The right person will help you with the next steps to feeling safe. If you don’t get the help you need, you might need to talk to someone else. Keep trying until you feel heard.

How are your rights protected when you participate in sport?

Parents, carers, coaches, volunteers and anyone involved in sport have a responsibility to keep you safe and respect your rights when you participate in sport.

All sports that work with children should have policies and procedures (these are like rules or guidelines) that set out how the sport plans to keep children and young people safe.

To protect and respect your rights, sports should:

  • Teach you about your physical, emotional, and online safety, and how to seek help if you are harmed or feel unsafe.
  • Treat everyone fairly, no matter who you are or where you are from.
  • Make sure there are ways for you to have your say in matters that affect you, and listen to what you have to say.
  • Care about your needs and feelings and support you in a way that makes you feel safe and respected.
  • Create an environment where your safety is the highest priority, and that reduces the risk of you feeling unsafe or being harmed.
  • Support you to make a complaint if you want to.
  • Do something to help if they are told about, witness or believe that you or another child or young person is in an unsafe or harmful situation.