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UNESCO and International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) to Partner on Sport for Youth Empowerment


BANGKOK, 26 AUGUST – UNESCO and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur will announce partnership plans aimed at harnessing the unique power of sport to improve young people’s lives and build more inclusive communities. The collaboration aims to empower educators and sporting personnel in non-formal environments, promote physical literacy – understanding and becoming comfortable with physical activity early on in life – as well as forge and foster bonds to promote intercultural dialogue and healthier, more inclusive communities for Asia-Pacific youth.

WHAT: Announcement of partnership plans between UNESCO and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA)

WHEN: 10am on 30 August, 2016 (during the IFMA Youth World Championships


Ambassador Hotel Convention Hall
171 Soi Sukhumvit 11
Khlong Toei Nuea
Watthana, Bangkok
+66 2 254 0444

CONTACT: Noel Boivin, UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer:

Programme lead: Caroline Baxter Tresise:



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.

Why Muaythai?

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.