the 20th session of
the Unesco General Conference
The General Conference of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in
Paris at its twentieth session, this twenty-first day of
that in the United Nations Charter the peoples proclaimed
their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and
worth of the human person, and affirmed their determination to
promote social progress and better standards of life,
that by the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms
set forth therein without discrimination of any kind as to
race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth .or other
that one of the essential conditions for the effective
exercise of human rights is that everyone should be free to
develop and preserve his or her physical, Intellectual and
moral powers, and that access to physical education and sport
should consequently be assured arid guaranteed for all human
that to preserve and develop the physical, intellectual and
moral powers of the human being improves the quality of life
at the national and the international levels,
that physical education and sport should make a more effective
contribution to the inculcation of fundamental human values
underlying the full development of peoples,
accordingly that physical education and sport should seek to
promote closer communion between peoples and between
individuals, together with disinterested emulation, solidarity
and fraternity, mutual respect and understanding, and full
respect for the integrity and dignity, of human beings,
Considering that responsibilities and obligations are
incumbent upon the industrialized countries and the developing
countries alike for reducing the disparity which continues to
exist between them in respect of free and universal access to
physical education and sport,
Considering that to integrate physical education and sport in
the natural environment is to enrich them and to inspire
respect of the earth's resources and a concern to conserve
them and use them for the greater good of humanity as a whole,
Into account the diversity of the forms of training and
education existing In the world, but noting that.
notwithstanding the differences between national sports
structures, it is clearly evident that physical education and
sport are not confined to physical well-being and health but
also contribute to the full and well-balanced development of
the human being,
the importance for peace and friendship among peoples of
cooperation between the international governmental and
non-governmental organizations responsible for physical
education and sport,
this International Charter for the purpose of placing the
development of physical education and sport at the service of
human progress, promoting their development, and urging
governments, competent non-governmental organizations,
educators, families and individuals themselves to be guided
thereby, to disseminate it and to put it into practice.
The practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental
right for all
human being has a fundamental right of access to physical
education and sport, which are essential for the full
development of his personality. The freedom to develop
physical, intellectual and moral powers through physical
education and sport must be guaranteed both within the
educational system and in other aspects of social life.
one must have full opportunities, in accordance with his
national tradition of sport, for practicing physical education
and sport, developing his physical fitness and attaining a
level of achievement in sport which corresponds to his gifts.
Special opportunities must be made available for young people,
including children of pre-school age, for the aged and for the
handicapped to develop their personalities to the full through
physical education and sport programmes suited to their
education and sport form an essential element of lifelong
education in the overall education system.
Physical education and sport, as an essential dimension of
education and culture, must develop the abilities, will-power
and self-discipline of every human being as a fully integrated
member of society. The continuity of physical activity and the
practice of sports must be ensured throughout life by means of
a global, lifelong and democratized education.
2.2 At the
individual level, physical education and sport contribute to
the maintenance and improvement of health, provide a wholesome
leisure-time occupation and enable man to overcome the
drawbacks of modern living. At the community level, they
enrich social relations and develop fair play, which is
essential not only to sport itself but also to life in
overall education system must assign the requisite place and
importance to physical education and sport in order to
establish a balance and strengthen links between physical
activities and other components of education.
Physical education and sport programmes must meet individual
and social needs.
Physical education and sport programmes must be designed to
suit the requirements and personal characteristics of those
practicing them, as well as the institutional, cultural,
socio-economic and climatic conditions of each country. They
must give priority to the requirements of disadvantaged groups
3.2 In the
process of education in general, physical education and sport
programmes must, by virtue of both their content and their
timetables, help to create habits and behavior patterns
conductive to full development of the human person.
when it has spectacular features, competitive sport must
always aim in accordance with the Olympic ideal, to serve the
purpose of educational sport, of which it represents the
crowning epitome. It must in no way be influenced by
profit-seeking commercial interests.
coaching and administration of physical education and sport
should be performed by qualified personnel
personnel who assume professional responsibility for physical
education and sport must have appropriate qualifications and
training. They must be carefully selected in sufficient
numbers and given preliminary as well as further training to
ensure that they reach adequate levels of specialization.
Voluntary personnel, given appropriate training and
supervision, can make an invaluable contribution to the
comprehensive development of sport and encourage the
participation of the population in the practice and
organization of physical and sport activities.
Appropriate structures must be established for the training of
personnel for physical education and sport. Personnel who have
received such training must be given a status in keeping with
the duties they perform.
Adequate facilities and equipment are essential to physical education and sport.
Adequate and sufficient facilities and
equipment must be provided and installed to meet the needs of intensive and safe
participation in both in-school and out-of-school programmes concerning physical
education and sport.
It is incumbent on governments, public
authorities, schools and appropriate private agencies, at all levels, to join
forces and plan together so as to provide and make optimum use of installations,
facilities and equipment for physical education and sport.
It is essential that plans for rural and
urban development include provision for long-term needs in the matter of
installations, facilities and equipment for physical education and sport, taking
account the opportunities offered by the natural environment.
Research and evaluation are indispensable components of the development of
physical education and sport.
6.1 Research and evaluation in physical
education and sport should make for the progress of all forms of sport and help
to bring about an improvement in the health and safety of participants as well
as in training methods and organization and management procedures. The education
system will thereby benefit from innovations calculated to develop better
teaching methods and standards of performance.
6.2 Scientific research, whose social
implications in this sphere should not be overlooked, must be oriented in such a
way that it does not allow of improper applications to physical education and
Information and documentation help to promote physical education and sport.
7.1 The collection, provision and dissemination of
information and documentation on physical education and sport constitute a major
necessity. In particular, there is a need to circulate information on the
results of research and evaluation studies concerning programmes, experiments
The mass media should exert a positive
influence on physical education and sport.
8.1 Without prejudice to the right of freedom of
information, it is essential that everyone involved in the mass media be fully
conscious of his responsibilities having regard to the social importance, the
humanistic purpose and the moral values embodied in physical education and
8.2 Relations between those involved in the mass media and
specialists in physical education and sport must be close and based on mutual
confidence in order to exercise a positive influence on physical education and
sport and to ensure objective and well-founded information. Training of
personnel for the media may include elements relating to physical education and
National Institutions play a major role in
physical education and sport.
9.1 It is essential that public authorities at all levels
and specialized non-governmental bodies encourage those physical education and
sport activities whose educational value is most evident. Their action shall
consist enforcing legislation and regulations, providing material assistance and
adopting all other measures of encouragement, stimulation and control. The
public authorities will also ensure that such fiscal measures are adopted as may
encourage these activities.
9.2 It is incumbent on all institutions responsible for
physical education and sport to promote a consistent, overall and decentralized
plan of action in the framework of lifelong education so as to allow for
continuity and co-ordination between compulsory physical activities and those
practiced freely and spontaneously.
International co-operation is a
prerequisite for the universal and well-balanced promotion of physical education
10.1 It is essential that States and those international
and regional intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in which
interested countries are represented and which are responsible for physical
education and sport give physical education and sport greater prominence in
international bilateral and multilateral co-operation.
10.2 International co-operation must be prompted by wholly
disinterested motives in order to promote and stimulate endogenous development
in this field.
10.3 Through co-operation and the pursuit of mutual
interests in the universal language of physical education and sport, all peoples
will contribute to the preservation of lasting peace, mutual respect and
friendship and will thus create a propitious climate for solving international
problems. Close collaboration between all interested national and international
governmental and non-governmental agencies, based on respect for the specific
competence of each, will necessarily encourage the development of physical
education and sport throughout the world.
by Eiko Emori; Published and distributed by the
Information Science of The Canadian Commission for UNESCO
255 Albert Street, Ottawa, Canada KIP 5V8. Available on request February 1980.