November 29, 2021

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Human Rights | “Olympic sponsors must explain,” Human Rights Watch said

Human Rights |  "Olympic sponsors must explain," Human Rights Watch said

Human Rights Watch said Friday that the main sponsors of the Beijing Winter Olympics should explain why they are silent on allegations of human rights abuses in China as the Games begin just three months ago.


Stephen Wade
Associated Press

The human rights group said in a statement that it had consulted all but one of the companies that are part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Partners Program.

Human Rights Watch also contacted NBC, saying “the US-based media company whose broadcasting rights represent 40% of total CIO revenue.”

Allianz is the only company that has responded to the company.

“We support the Olympic movement and our long-term support for its ideals will not diminish,” the insurer replied.

The Beijing Games begin on February 4.

In its request, Human Rights Watch called on sponsors to be aware of the human rights situation in China and to examine supply chains and other activities to ensure that “human rights violations are not tolerated.”

“The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are just three months away, but the companies that sponsor them are silent on how they’re influencing China’s terrible human rights record,” said Sophie Richardson, China’s director with the Asian Department of Humanities. Rights Watch.

Major sponsors at the time of sending: Airbnb, Alibaba, Allianz, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Toyota and Visa.

In total, the major sponsors donated approximately US $ 1 billion to the IOC during the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle, which is expected to double when the full amounts are released for the 2017-2020 cycle. The cycle was delayed by a year due to the epidemic.

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The American network NBC represents 40% of CIO revenue in the 2013-2016 cycle.

The group’s statement came three days after the Global Labor Group released a scathing report questioning the legitimacy of hosting the Games in China over allegations of genocide and crime against it.

The report of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is entitled “China: Gold Medal for Repression”.

China has repeatedly denied that the carnage was taking place, saying the allegation was a “lie of the century”. She said the camps in northwest China were for education only and not for the arbitrary detention of one million Uyghur Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities.

For its part, the IOC affirms that its sole purpose is sport and that it is not mandatory to take action on sovereign state policies. However, unlike IOC companies, it has an observer position at the United Nations.

“We have a lot of respect for other organizations that have other goals,” IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch said in response to the ITUC report earlier this week. “But we believe in what our responsibility is: to celebrate the Olympics as a celebration of humanity as a whole, despite our differences.”

Many IOC sponsors adhere to the “United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”. They convey the responsibility of states and businesses to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms.

However, the IOC did not include these guidelines in its contract city contract for the Beijing Olympics, but added them to the contract for the Paris 2024 Olympics and future games.

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When the IOC awarded Beijing the 2008 Summer Olympics, it stated that the Games would improve human rights in China.

“The failure of the Chinese authorities to fulfill their rights commitments to protect the 2008 Summer Olympics and their growing repression since then clearly shows that the government respects human rights during the 2022 Winter Games,” Human Rights Watch said.