The IOC Advisory Committee on Human Rights formally met for the first time in Lausanne on 16 and 17 March 2023.
Submitted by International Olympic Committee
IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the Chair, Dr Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, and the members of the Committee at Olympic House. “We are very pleased to host the IOC Advisory Committee for its first meeting. The Committee will be instrumental in helping us further take into account human rights considerations in our day-to-day activities,” he said.
The agenda for the one-and-a-half-day meeting covered the progress achieved on the implementation of the IOC’s strategic framework on human rights, and its key actions for 2023 by sphere of responsibility.
For the IOC’s first sphere of responsibility, the IOC as an organisation, the conversation focused on the upcoming update of the Olympic Charter. For the second, the IOC as owner of the Olympic Games, the members discussed the work undertaken with the Organising Committees for the forthcoming Olympic and Youth Olympic Games, with an intervention from the Paris 2024 and Dakar 2026 teams.
Lastly, for the third sphere of responsibility, the IOC as leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC Advisory Committee on Human Rights had the chance to hear from the UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights on her views regarding the situation of athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports in the context of the illegal war Russia is waging against Ukraine. The IOC also updated the Committee on safe sport. The IOC Advisory Committee also discussed the roles of NOCs and IFs in upholding human rights in their own spheres of responsibility, and specific challenges with regard to athletes’ rights in the Olympic Movement, including the situation in Iran and that in Afghanistan.
The meeting closed with a review of the role of the IOC Advisory Committee on Human Rights, its next steps and the date of its next meeting.
Committee Chair Dr Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka concluded: “We are extremely pleased to formally start advising the IOC on human rights matters within the remit of the IOC. The task is large and the IOC Advisory Committee on Human Rights, that I chair, will do its utmost to guide the IOC in the implementation of its strategic framework on human rights.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a not-for-profit independent international organisation that is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC acts as a catalyst for collaboration between all parties of the Olympic family, from the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Sports Federations (IFs), the athletes and the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) to the Worldwide Olympic Partners, broadcast partners and United Nations (UN) agencies, and shepherds success through a wide range of programmes and projects. On this basis, it ensures the regular celebration of the Olympic Games, supports all affiliated member organisations of the Olympic Movement and strongly encourages, by appropriate means, the promotion of the Olympic values.
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