Terre des Hommes, Amnesty International and Nosso Jogo Network met today with Philip French, the IOC’s Director of Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport, to report on child rights violations during the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The IOC were officially presented with the signatures of the petitions organised by the three organisations as well as Terres des Hommes’ newly released briefing Breaking Records and A Legacy of Violence by Amnesty International.
With attention now shifting to future Games, and indeed all Mega Sporting Events, the organisations called on the IOC to act upon the findings and prevent similar violations in the future.
Andrea Florence, Campaigner for Terre des Hommes, said: “The official slogan of the Rio 2016 Olympics was ‘A New World’ for future generations. Our research reveals human rights violations of youth and children in Rio, ranging from police killings, harsh police repression of protests and an alarming increase of police violence against adolescents in street situation.
“At least 75 people under 18s were detained for peacefully protesting during the two weeks of the Games. Policies implemented to “clean-up” the streets exacerbated the overcrowd and poor conditions of the juvenile detention centers. There was an increase of 48% in the number of people in the juvenile system when compared to 2015.”
“We call upon the IOC to put in place all measures necessary to avoid repeating the same pattern of violations we have seen in Rio. Only then will the Games will have a chance to create a better world for generations to come.”
Renata Neder, researcher and human rights advisor at Amnesty International Brazil, said: “The Olympics were a missed opportunity for public security in Rio de Janeiro. We documented a number of violations by security forces, especially a significant increase in the number of people killed by the police and a violent repression of protests.
“The Brazilian authorities have failed to ensure that security forces respected human rights and have failed to deliver the promised legacy of a safe city for all. Now we expect the authorities to guarantee that those violations are thoroughly investigated and brought to justice.”
Michaela Königshofer from Südwind and Ute Mayrhofer from DKA Austria – both advocacy officers from the Nosso Jogo Network – referred to the demands of the petition ‘Stop human rights violations related to the Olympic Games’ and underlined the common goal of the activists: to ensure binding human rights standards for awarding, preparation and realisation of Olympic Games.
Ms Königshofer said: “While we acknowledge that IOC’s reform programme Agenda 2020 marked some progress, the recorded violations during the Olympics in Rio showed that there is still a long way to go.”
Andrea Florence reported from the meeting that the IOC listened to the three organisations and their assessment of the human and child rights violations during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The IOC has stated that they are willing to learn from the Brazilian experience, understand what mistakes were made and what can be changed. They have committed to look at the recommendations made by the organisations with the intention of delivering concrete actions, including a possible increase in capacity and resources for human rights.