2018 São Paulo Declaration urges to enforce leisure as a human right

The 15th World Leisure Congress gathered participants from 37 nations in São Paulo, Brazil, from August 28th to September 1st. The event was organized by WLO and Serviço Social do Comércio (Sesc), with academic support from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and several professional and teaching institutions. The theme of the Congress, in consonance with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was “Leisure Beyond Constraints”. Participants discussed the main barriers — physical, socioeconomic and symbolic — that still exist and prevent the access of all people to Leisure, as well as the need for overcoming and systematically confronting each of them. In this context, the 2018 São Paulo Declaration “Leisure Beyond Constraints” was issued, 20 years after the Declaration of São Paulo (1998) was acclaimed during the 5th WL Congress.

Article 1 of the revisited São Paulo Declaration establishes that “All persons should have the right to leisure guaranteed by the realization of equitable and sustainable economic, political and social guidelines, aiming at practices consistent with human rights and environmentally conscious”. The acclaimed text goes on to formulate up to 10 articles, which build upon an understanding of leisure as a transversal field of knowledge and actions, as well as a time for personal resignification, social and community development. The 2018 São Paulo Declaration is in line with the articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations (1948) that refer to the right to rest and leisure (art. 24) and “to participate in the cultural life of the community” (art. 27).

Read the full 2018 São Paulo Declaration here. A Spanish version is also available here.