Today marks the start of the Child Congress in Rio de Janeiro, a unique 4-day event where children and youths from Rio will speak out about how their lives have been impacted by the Rio 2016 Olympics.
As the world looks to Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the Olympic Games, Terre des Hommes joins forces with Street Child United and Dreikönigsaktion (DKA) in order to give a platform to vulnerable children whose rights have been violated due to Olympics preparations.
The congress takes place from 15-19 March and is part of the Street Child Games, which features Olympic-themed games for young people from countries including Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Mozambique, Burundi, Pakistan, India, Philippines and the UK. The event will highlight the right of all children to play and express themselves in a safe setting.
The Congress will conclude with a General Assembly on Friday 18 March welcoming journalists, business leaders, local authorities and government representatives. The children and youth will present their recommendations for protecting their rights before the Rio 2016 Olympics. These recommendations will be included in the Rio Resolution which will be presented to world governments and the United Nations.
A letter to the International Olympic Committee
The outcomes of the Congress will include an open letter to the International Olympic Committee demanding that vulnerable children are protected from the abuse of their rights.
Research has shown that in the run-up to the Rio Olympics, children are particularly at risk of rights abuses. The Dossier ‘Mega-Events and Human Rights Violations in Rio de Janeiro‘ reveals a series of human rights violations as a consequence of the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Among the exposed violations, two key violations of children’s rights in Brazil have been identified:
- Police violence, mostly against children and adolescents living in the street, during protests and evictions, and in favelas – particularly by the “UPPs” (occupations by Brazil’s Military Police Force)
- Forced evictions of disadvantaged communities to open space for big infrastructure projects connected to the Olympic Games.
5 months to the Olympics: Naomy’s story
Naomy, 13, is one of the children of Rio whose life has been severely disrupted by the Rio 2016 Olympics. She was living in the Vila Autodromo community and saw everything she loved being ripped apart to make way for the 2016 Olympic Park.
Vila Autodromo was once home to more than 500 families. Today houses are being destroyed with increasing urgency as the Olympics Games approach.
Naomy is also the subject of Terre des Hommes’ award-winning film “The Fighter”. The Fighter has won awards from three festivals: the “Best short competitions”, the “Golden Panda Festival” and recently the “Liverpool Lift Off Festival”. The film has also been selected for the “Tokyo Lift Off Festival” and was screened in Basel last Wednesday alongside a panel discussion on Mega Sporting Events and Human Rights.
The child Congress gives Rio children a safe setting to be heard.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Andrea Florence, Strategic Alliance Officer