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UNESCO and IFMA to partner on Sport for Youth Empowerment

UNESCO and the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur (IFMA) have officially announced their partnership on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 in Bangkok. The objective is to promote sports and improve lives of young people. Muay Thai is seen to be the most popular sport in Asia.

UNESCO is the United Nations lead agency for sport and physical education and promotes sport as a fundamental human right and a vital medium for peace and socio-economic development. UNESCO’s commitment to sport is enshrined in the 2015 International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport. The charter serves as a universal reference for the ethical and quality standards of sport.

Muaythai is extremely popular in Asia-Pacific, with participation levels in this region increasingly rapidly. The sport’s five pillars – honour, tradition, respect, excellence and fair play – offer youth a foundation from which they can grow into responsible, respectful adults. In impoverished urban communities in Asia-Pacific in particular, Muaythai has proven to be invaluable in offering youth an outlet into which they can channel their energies into healthy, competitive physical activity, a needed alternative amid other potentially negative influences. Muaythai Amateur, under IFMA, its governing body, adheres to a strict code of ethics as well as stringent safety measures to ensure the protection of young participants. The sport is also founded on the principle of inclusivity, which is also at the core of UNESCO’s mandate – it is IFMA’s belief that Muaythai should be accessible to anyone without discrimination of any kind.