Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lessons From The 2014 Winter Olympics

There is a movement to make the International Olympic Committee be more responsive to human rights. There is an effort to amend Principle 6 of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism  which is “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

The Windy City Times has a press release from AllOut movement,
"Russia's extreme anti-gay laws and violence were largely ignored by the International Olympic Committee throughout the Sochi Olympics. There must be basic, minimum standards to ensure that Olympic Host Countries protect athletes, tourists, and citizens of every country," said Andre Banks, Executive Director and co-founder of All Out, a 1.9-million member global movement for love and equality. "It's time for the Olympics to change the rules and make sure that all future Games follow Principle 6 of the Olympic charter — ensuring non-discrimination for all."
1. Overhaul the bid process to include requirements that host countries do not have laws in place that discriminate on protected grounds against groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in violation of international law. The IOC should consider submissions from independent human rights organizations regarding any prospective host country's human rights record.

2. Future host city contracts should include specific human rights pledges and a commitment not to introduce laws or policies that violate human rights law before the Games. These contracts should be made public and include clear sanctions for failing to respect these commitments, up to and including a relocation of the Games.

3. Amend Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter to specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Although the IOC has stated publicly that it considers discrimination based on sexual orientation to be prohibited, the state-sponsored discrimination surrounding the Sochi Games points to a need to clearly codify these policies in the Olympic Charter.
It is not enough for them to amend Principle 6, but they need to follow it. They also need to change the way determine male and female athletes so they do not force intersex persons to have unnecessary operations to their model of who is a male or female athete.

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