The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been warned it must deliver on promises to protect child and human rights ahead of the 130th IOC session in Peru next week.
This is the message Terre des Hommes is delivering to IOC President Thomas Bach in a brand new video released today ahead of their meeting in Lima.
‘Beyond Brazil’ recalls how the rights of Rio’s citizens were violated in the run up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, with children being particularly affected. This included the 22,000 families relocated to build infrastructure related to the Olympics, and many people – including children and youth – being incarcerated by security forces ahead of the Games.
The film does commend the IOC for subsequently adding human rights criteria into the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host city contracts, to be held by Paris and Los Angeles respectively. But serious concerns remain over how this criteria will be implemented, the lack of dialogue from the IOC on human rights and how child and human rights were neglected in the official bids by Paris and Los Angeles.
The new host city contracts also do not apply to Olympic Games which have been previously awarded, such as Tokyo 2020 and the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea and Beijing, China.
Terre des Hommes’ Children Win campaign seeks to preserve and protect the rights of young people affected by Mega Sporting Events. Head of the Campaign Marc Joly said: “We were encouraged by the IOC’s decision earlier this year to incorporate references to the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights into its host city contracts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
“But questions remain on how these promises on paper are turned into a reality. The apparent lack of focus on human rights in the bidding documents for the Paris and Los Angeles Olympics is deeply worrying.
“The focus on environmental sustainability by Paris 2024 means it is unlikely the appalling scenes in Rio of children and families being forcibly removed from their communities will be repeated. But many other child rights issues must be addressed at both the Paris and Los Angeles Games – from child labour in the production of goods to the ‘left-behind’ children of migrant workers.
“Now the IOC have taken this important initial step, we call on it to specifically focus on human rights around Mega Events in South Korea, Japan and China.”
The host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Games were originally due to be announced at the IOC session in Lima on 13-17 September, after Budapest followed Hamburg and Rome in pulling out of the running to host the 2024 Games.
However, it has already been agreed that Paris will host the 2024 games and Los Angeles the games in 2028, and instead the cities will now use the session to sign the host city contracts. These contracts are the first to benefit from the IOC’s increased emphasis on sustainability and legacy of future Olympics host cities.