Children's rights organisation Terre des Hommes has warned that UEFA must still pass the "reality test" following their recent announcement that countries bidding for future editions of its quadrennial European Championships will have to adhere to human rights and anti-corruption criteria.
The announcement by European football's governing body was made on Monday (May 1) following a bid opening workshop held last week, attended by representatives from Germany and Turkey - the two nations in the running for the 2024 tournament.
It marks the first-time human rights articles have been included in the bidding process by UEFA.
In a statement, UEFA said the criteria had been "based on the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and other UN conventions and were developed in close cooperation with the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA)".
Terre des Hommes forms part of the SRA, which is a coalition of leading human rights organisations, sports groups and trade unions.
Its Children Win campaign is headed by Marc Joly, who told insidethegames "only time will tell" if UEFA's approach will become standard practice in the delivery of all its events, far in advance of 2024.
"For now the changes are on paper and the reality test obviously still needs to be passed," he said.
"We will keep a close eye on the issues which are usually the children's rights risks involved in the organisation of a mega sporting event and we won't hesitate if we see that the impacts are negative in terms of children's rights."
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin claimed "protection of human rights and labour rights is of the utmost importance for UEFA" and said the move would apply to all future tournaments and finals.
This includes events such as the final of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA's flagship competition for European club sides.
It follows similar moves by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the last six months in incorporating human rights criteria into future bidding documents and statutes.
Most notably, the IOC announced in February that the incorporation of human rights principles is among the changes it is making to its Host City Contract.
The revised Host City Contract, developed with recommendations from a coalition of leading rights, transparency and athletes' organisations, has been finalised and will first apply to the 2024 Olympic Games.
Paris and Los Angeles are the only two candidates left in the race, with the IOC due to elect the winner during its Session in Peru’s capital Lima in September.
For the first time, the IOC made specific reference to the UNGPs, a set of guidelines unanimously endorsed in June 2011 for states and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations.
They detail how commercial enterprises ought to assess human rights risks, take effective measures to prevent human rights issues, and guarantee a remedy for abuses that take place despite those efforts.
Joly believes the convergence of the UNGPs with the increased media scrutiny surrounding sports governing bodies has been the main reason behind the taken significant steps to incorporate standards
"Sports governing bodies have found themselves in a position of saying ‘we need to move in another direction than what has been past habits’," he told insidethegames.
"Again, in that framework the first signs are encouraging but we are far from delivering them certification about the fact that they’ve done well.
"It’s much too early for that."
The SRA’s mission is to ensure that sports bodies and mega-sporting events respect human rights, the environment, and anti-corruption requirements in all of their activities and at all stages of the process.
Other members include the World Players Association, the world football players’ union FIFPro, Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, UNI Global Union, Transparency International, Amnesty UK and Amnesty NL.
"The new bid criteria are designed to ensure that the protection of human rights is a material factor in the decision to award the rights to host the championships," Brendan Schwab, the executive director of the World Players Association, said.
"This will not only give both bidders the opportunity to comprehensively address potential human rights risks in their bids, but to demonstrate best practice in the advancement of human rights through sport."
Germany, hosts in 1988, and Turkey were the only two countries to submit a bid for UEFA Euro 2024.
The Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway were tipped to launch a joint bid but eventually decided not to enter the race.
UEFA's Executive Committee will make a decision on the destination of the 2024 tournament in September 2018.
Both the DFB and the TFF will have until April 27, 2018 to complete and submit their bid dossiers to UEFA.