Who we are…
Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program that is part of a growing national movement to rid Canadian sport of all forms of harassment, discrimination and abuse.
We aim to prevent maltreatment at all levels of sport across Canada through education, training and research.
We are also responsible for investigating reported violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) and for imposing sanctions against individuals who violate the Code.
How we were created…
In December 2020, the Government of Canada launched a call for applications to not-for-profit organizations, in order to implement a plan to prevent and address maltreatment in sport. The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), with its experience already in the creation of an Investigation Unit in 2018 and of the Canadian Sport Helpline in 2019 (now know as the Abuse-Free Sport Helpline), in addition to its international reputation in sport dispute resolution since 2004, did not hesitate to respond to the call.
In July 2021, the Government of Canada selected the SDRCC to develop and deliver a new safe sport mechanism at the national level. After extensive research and a national consultation with more than 75 different organizations, the SDRCC created the Abuse-Free Sport program, which was launched less than a year later.
What we do…
The role we have been given by Sport Canada is very clear: working with federally-funded sport organizations to address alleged violations of the UCCMS and working with allies at all levels to influence a positive shift in Canada’s sport culture.
Preventing abuse in sport is our primary focus.
We are collaborating with experts in sport and a variety of related fields (e.g., law, human rights, psychology) to accredit training and education programs that will meet strict criteria and will be compliant with the UCCMS. We also promote peer-reviewed research that contributes to our knowledge of safe sport and can help to improve the culture of sport in Canada.
Addressing matters under the UCCMS
The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) serves as the central hub within Abuse-Free Sport. It operates independently to administer the UCCMS.
The OSIC receives concerns regarding matters under the UCCMS in two different ways:
(i) Complaint Management treats alleged violations of the UCCMS by individual participants under the authority of Abuse-Free Sport; and
(ii) sport environment assessments look at alleged systemic issues in specific sport organizations and environments.