IOC: Olympic Hosts Must Meet Human Rights Standards

Published December 2nd, 2018 - 05:57 GMT
The International Olympic Committee logo
The International Olympic Committee logo

Hosts of the Olympic Games must meet “human rights standards” from 2024, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said yesterday after an executive board meeting in Tokyo.

And a new advisory committee on human rights chaired by Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the former United Nations commissioner for human rights, is to be formed “to help the IOC meet its human rights responsibilities.”

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “Promoting humanistic values in sport has been a core feature of the IOC since its beginning. Our mission, to put sport at the service of humanity, goes hand-in-hand with human rights, which is part of our DNA.”

It goes alongside incorporating human rights standards into the “Operational Requirements” of the host city contract from the 2024 Olympic Games onwards, the IOC said.

This will “explicitly require organising committees to comply with applicable local, regional and national laws as well as international agreements,” the IOC said, regarding “planning, construction, protection of the environment, health and safety, labour and anti-corruption laws” on “development projects and other projects necessary for the organisation of the Games.”

Paris will host the Summer Games in 2024 and Los Angeles the 2028 edition. Tokyo will host in 2020.

China, host of the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, has recently been criticised by the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch for “conducting a mass, systematic campaign of human rights violations against Turkic Muslims,” in the north-west of the country.

Bach, meanwhile, refused to guarantee boxing would be at the 2020 Games but did say the IOC wanted to include the sport despite ongoing problems with amateur governing body AIBA.

Planning for boxing at the Games was frozen on Friday as the IOC has taken a hard line with AIBA over controversial judging at the 2016 Games, financial issues and the election of Uzbekistan’s Gafur Rakhimov as its president in early November.

Rakhimov is on a United States treasury department sanctions list in connection with organised crime and drug trafficking, allegations he has denied. A three-strong panel headed by IOC executive committee member Nenad Lalovic is to look into AIBA’s ethics, governance and finances and to submit a report ahead the IOC Session in June 2019. AIBA is expected to work with the IOC in the coming months with Rahimov saying late Friday the organisation was “committed to improving in any area where they have concerns.

“In terms of my own situation, I can assure the IOC that the situation with US authorities based on false allegations by the previous regime of my country is being addressed and that my legal team is working hard to correct this.”

Rahimov also added AIBA has achieved “financial stability” and he looked forward to co-operating with Lalovic “so that we can get back to full scale preparations for Tokyo 2020.”

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach (L) and IOC spokesperson Mark Adams (R) attend a press conference in Tokyo yesterday.

© Gulf Times Newspaper 2019

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