The Brazilian civil society ‘World Cup and Olympics Popular Committee of Rio de Janeiro’ launches the Dossier ‘Mega-Events and Human Rights Violations in Rio de Janeiro‘.
Both the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and Rio´s mayor, Eduardo Paes, have entitled the 2016 Rio Olympics the “Games of Inclusion” and promised a legacy of tolerance, peace and social inclusion for the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (‘Wonderful City’). The Dossier published today, however, reveals a different story: a series of human rights violations released in the context of the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth edition of the ‘Mega-events and Human Rights violations in Rio de Janeiro Dossier’, launched at the same time as the executive board of the IOC meets in Lausanne to discuss the implementation of the Agenda 2020, shows that violations of housing, working and children’s rights among others make this far from the “Inclusion Games” promised by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
Among the exposed violations, two key violations of children’s rights in Brazil were identified:
The 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games have both greatly aggravated the level of police and army violence in Rio de Janeiro.
Violence against homeless children and adolescents, during protests and evictions, and in favelas – particularly by the “UPPs (Brazil’s Military Police Force)” – was reported. These “security measures”, especially in the so called “pacification operations” have caused many casualties and human rights violations. Children and adolescents have shown signs of psychological and emotional damage due to these traumatic experiences.
Many disadvantaged communities in Brazil have been forcibly removed to
open space for big infrastructure projects connected to Mega Sporting Events. In Rio, at least 4,120 families have already been evicted of their homes and 2,486 are still threatened with forced removals to make way for projects directly or indirectly associated with the Olympic Games.
Due to these evictions many children are no longer able to go to school, they could become victims of exploitation, child labour and sexual violence. They lose access to education, health and other vital social services.
The Dossier closes with 16 requests by the Popular Committee, including the end of forced removals, end of harassment towards street vendors, sport as education, health and not just business, demilitarization of the police, end of ‘street cleansing’ of street children and adolescents, among many others.
Terre des Hommes, who contributed to the chapter of the Dossier on “Children and Adolescents”, in collaboration with the University of Dundee, is calling for an end of this violence and for the rights of children and families to be fully respected before, during and after the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The Olympic Games should not harm the local population and its children at any time. Although host states bear the responsibility for the abuses that occur in their countries, sport-governing bodies, such as FIFA or IOC, also have the responsibility to respect and assure human rights. Terre des Hommes calls on the IOC to respect human rights.
It is time that the IOC lived up to its own values enshrined in the Olympic Charter.
• Very concretely, Terre des Hommes urges the IOC to intervene, at a minimum, to halt the ongoing forced evictions connected to the Olympics and prevent the possible police violence and “cleansing” of children in street situation before the Olympics.
• On a policy level, the IOC is requested to: issue a public human rights commitment and policy; have in place human rights capacity; ensure access to remedy; undertake human rights due diligence; conduct monitoring of all stages of the Games; and enable external independent monitoring.
• In order to prevent future violations at other events, Terre des Hommes asks the IOC to include human rights as part of the decision for awarding any Games and as explicit obligations in Host City Contracts.
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STOP the violence and displacement related to the 2016 Olympic Games
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