Houston World Cup 2026 Bid Committee Sets Bold Human Rights Strategy
Houston 2026 engages 100+ stakeholders to develop a human rights plan to deliver a World Cup of the future.
The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee has shared its comprehensive and community-driven Human Rights Report.
The report advances 73 opportunities prioritised by stakeholders that will ensure human rights protections and advancements are central to all areas of the bid committee’s delivery plan while cementing a positive legacy around the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Houston and beyond.
The human rights plan was designed following consultation with more than 100 local, national and global stakeholders.
Prioritising human rights has been an essential piece to Houston 2026’s strategic plan from its inception. The Houston 2026 Human Rights Sub-Committee was created in March 2019, led by human trafficking expert Minal Patel Davis, who serves as director of the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence.
The sub-committee has guided the city’s strategy for addressing human rights as a central part of Houston’s plan for becoming a World Cup host city in 2026.
As part of FIFA’s evolving and collaborative approach to bidding, the sub-committee oversaw the critical task of a formal stakeholder engagement process focused on human rights.
If Houston is successful in its host city bid, the 73 opportunities will be delivered across nine thematic areas:
Regulatory and Human Rights Audits with Feedback Mechanism – 10
Responsible and Transparent Procurement – 5
Contracts and Compliance – 8
Policies and Procedures – 8
Creating Funding Streams through the Bid Committee – 3
Building Capacity of Existing Resources – 7
Collaboration and Public/Private Partnerships – 12
Training and Awareness – 10
Community Engagement and Outreach – 10
Chris Canetti, Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President, said of the report: “Through this comprehensive human rights plan, we hope to help implement meaningful change in the way mega sporting events are hosted worldwide as we lean into soccer’s ability to unite people with different views, economic classes and races.
“FIFA’s significantly increased priority on this area has been very encouraging and allowed us to place additional focus on that area of our bid, resulting in a level of comprehensiveness that we believe will greatly enhance our legacy, benefitting this city and the global soccer community around the 2026 World Cup and well beyond.”
Patel Davis said: “As America’s City of the Future, Houston places great emphasis on opportunity for all, and the protection of both basic and expanded human rights.
“The level of thoughtful engagement we received from our unified community through this stakeholder engagement process and the resulting outcomes give us full confidence that we can deliver a human rights utopia, and we look forward to the opportunity to implement these solutions if selected as a 2026 FIFA World Cup host city.”
About the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee is leading the South Texas region’s efforts to host the FIFA World Cup 2026™. It is a subsidiary of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. The FIFA World Cup 2026™ will be played in 16 cities across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Houston is among 17 cities vying to become a U.S. host city. A final decision is expected in the first half of 2022.