Rio de Janeiro has been preparing itself for the eyes of the world ahead of next month’s Olympic Games by cleansing its streets of undesirables and demolishing entire neighbourhoods.
In this wave of unease and uncertainty for Rio’s citizens, children are losing their familiar environment, friends and schools, making them vulnerable to exploitation.
At the end of last year, 4120 families had already been evicted from their homes in Rio, and almost 2500 families were at risk of meeting the same fate.
In order to finance the expensive sports venues, the state government has cut this year’s budget for education by one quarter. Schools lack teaching materials, teachers are on strike and students are occupying their school buildings in protest.
Mega Sporting Events like the Olympic Games should never harm children. Yet still it happens. And this is not the first time.
With our international ‘Children Win!’ campaign, Terre des Hommes addresses the social consequences of mega sporting events for children from poor communities.
We call on sport governing bodies to include child rights as part of the decision for awarding any mega sporting event and as an explicit obligation in contracts with the host city or country.
Award winning Dutch photographer Pim Ras not only photographed the other side of the Rio Olympics, but also the fighting spirit of the local residents and children.
His exhibition, ‘The Other Side of the Medal’, is now open at the Grote Kerk Naarden, south east of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is made possible thanks to the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.