Recommendations to IOC for better protection children during Olympics

Today, Terre des Hommes and  Amnesty International, on behalf of an alliance of NGOs, sports organisations and associations, have presented a list of recommendations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prevent violations of children’ s rights during the Olympic Games in 2024. In the coming months, the IOC will revise the contract for the host city of the mega sporting event in six years time. “This is the moment to ensure that enforced evictions and police violence, that we are currently witnessing in Rio de Janeiro, don't happen again, says child rights officer Beata Stappers Karpinska of Terre des Hommes Netherlands.

Evictions

Seven years ago, Rio de Janeiro was appointed the organisation of the OlympicGames in 2016. Since then, over 22.000 families have been evicted to make room for the sports facilities. Last year, one in every five murders in Rio de Janeiro was committed by the police and the number of deaths due to police violence has increased even more in recent months. ‘This is what happens when you do not include human- and children’ s rights as part of the bidding criteria and then organise a huge sporting event like the Olympics in a country with a bad track record in this area, according to Stappers Karpinska.

Obligation in contracts

The ‘Sports and Rights Alliance’  conisisting of  Terre des Hommes and Amnesty International, FIFPro/World Players’ Union, Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, Supporters Direct Europe, Greenpeace and Transparency International Germany. The alliance is presently discussing  the reforms for 2020 with the IOC. These reforms were introduced at the end of 2014 by the Committee. The recommendations should help the IOC to put good intentions into practice. The members of the alliance are calling upon the IOC to include child rights, as an integral part of the decision in the awarding process of any Olympic Games and as an explicit obligation to uphold these rights in contracts with the host city, country and sponsors . 

Children suffer

Mega Sporting Events like the Olympic Games should never harm children. But still it happens and this is not the first time. With the international 'Children Win!' campaign, Terre des Hommes addresses the social consequences of mega sporting events for children from poor communities. Recently, the online documentary The Fighter was launched, which shows the tragic consequences mega sporting events like the Olympic Games can have on children. But it also shows the courage of a 12 year old Brazilian girl who combats these powerful opponents.

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