IOC Includes Human Rights Protection In Revised Host City Agreement

IOC President Thomas Bach at Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne (GB Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach at Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne (GB Photo)

Following consultations with the Sport and Rights Alliances (SRA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has now followed Olympic Agenda 2020 guidelines and is making specific changes to the Host City Contract 2024 regarding human rights, anti-corruption and sustainable development standards.

The Host City Contract that will be used when the Mayor from winning city that is elected September 13 by the IOC from between Los Angeles and Paris will be first impacted by the change.  For the first time amid public pressure, the document was released ahead of the Olympic bid campaign.

The original document released in September 2015 didn’t measure up to the promises made by Olympic Agenda 2020, human rights advocates warned, and further pressure led to the new inclusions announced by the IOC Tuesday.

The IOC was under fire for not doing more to protect human rights when Sochi hosted the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia and, as part of the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008.

IOC President Thomas Bach met with representatives of the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA) which includes Transparency International Germany, UNI World Athletes, Terre des Hommes, the International Trade Union Confederation, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

The IOC adopted new procedures and made changes to the Host City Contract 2024, which now includes a section designed to strengthen provisions protecting human rights and countering fraud and corruption related to the organization of the Olympic Games.

IOC President Bach said, “strengthening transparency, good governance and accountability are key elements of Olympic Agenda 2020. Based on these principles, the IOC is moving forward by including provisions in the Host City Contract aimed specifically at protecting human rights and countering corruption.”

IOC President Thomas Bach at 127th IOC Session speaking on Agenda 2020 (IOC Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach at 127th IOC Session speaking on Agenda 2020 (IOC Photo)

“The organizations of the Olympic Games should always promote and enhance the fundamental values of Olympism.  This latest step is another reflection of the IOC; a commitment to embedding these values in all aspects of the Olympic Games.”

He added, “we worked closely with SRA and we welcome its input, which is now reflected in the new version of the Host City Contract.”

According to the amendments, host cities must undertake the following obligations:

Prohibit any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property,  birth or other status.

They should protect and respect human rights and ensure any violation of human rights is remedied in a manner consistent with international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the Host Country and in a manner consistent with all internationally recognized human rights standards and principles including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, applicable in the Host Country.

Refrain from any act involving fraud or corruption, in a manner consistent with any international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the Host Country and all internationally-recognized anti-corruption standards applicable in the Host Country, including by establishing and maintaining effective reporting and compliance.

Carry out all activities foreseen under the Host City Contract in a manner which embraces sustainable development and contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Take all necessary measures where necessary in cooperation with Host Country authorities and other third parties to ensure that their activities in relation to the organization of the Games comply with any international agreements, laws and regulation applicable in the Host Country, with regard to planning, construction, protection of the environment, health and safety, labour and working conditions and cultural heritage.