Brussels, 15 June 2015 – At the occasion of the first European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, Children Win campaign led by Terre des Hommes, as part of the Sport and Rights Alliance, organized the #DrawAttention Cartoon Contest to raise awareness on Human Rights violations before, during and after Mega Sporting Events.
The winners of the #DrawAttention contest were announced on the 12th of June, day of the opening of the European Games : three winners selected by the jury and one “elected” by the public via our social media channels. We received more than 100 artworks from 44 different countries in all continents. The drawings send out a strong message to sports organizations and governments to act in order to prevent violations of human rights, including child rights, happening around Mega Sporting Events.
Baku 2015 Games: no world record for human rights
The inaugural European Games in Baku are regulated by the European Olympic Committee, which has the responsibility for the assignment of the bid and implementation of the Olympic Charter. This could have been a chance to improve Azerbaijan’s human rights record. Yet, the lack of engagement of the European Olympic Committee to stand up for human dignity and freedom of press has allowed the government to repress any kind of critical voice.
The effects on children are sometimes indirect, when their close environment is endangered, their lives are affected. The detention of parents makes children particularly vulnerable. Further, as reported by Amnesty International, NIDA civic movement members have been beaten and tortured in order to extract false confessions, including the 17-year-old activist, Shahin Novruzlu, who lost four of his front teeth during interrogation.
Terre des Hommes asks the European Olympic Committee to act and take the interests of all children into consideration by urging Azerbaijani government to release the unjustly imprisoned journalists and activists.