Olympic Host City Contracts to Explicitly Include Human Rights Protections
28 February 2017.
The International Olympic Committee announced today that as of 2024 new host city contracts will for the first time include explicit human rights protections. The new contracts make specific reference to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which outline the human rights responsibilities of business enterprises and affirm the human rights duties of states with respect to business and other non-state actors. The contracts also include new references to anti-corruption standards.
The step marks a historic point in integrating human rights considerations into the earliest stages of the Olympic lifecycle. Implementation of the new clauses will be critical to preventing and remediating impacts in practice. Attention must also focus on Games coming before the contracts go into effect and lacking similar protections, including the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The 2024 Olympics will be hosted by either Paris or Los Angeles, following Budapest’s withdrawal. The International Olympic Committee will announce the winning bid at a vote in Lima, Peru, in September 2017, and there has been speculation that the other city will be awarded the 2028 Games at the same time.
Key provisions of the revised Olympic Host City Contract include:
13. Respect of the Olympic Charter and promotion of Olympism
13.1. The Host City, the Host NOC and the OCOG undertake to abide by the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics and agree to conduct their activities related to the organisation of the Games in a manner which promotes and enhances the fundamental principles and values of Olympism, as well as the development of the Olympic Movement.
13.2. Pursuant to their obligations under §13.1, the Host City, the Host NOC and the OCOG shall, in their activities related to the organisation of the Games:
a. prohibit any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status;
b. protect and respect human rights and ensure any violation of human rights is remedied in a manner consistent with international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the Host Country and in a manner consistent with all internationally-recognised human rights standards and principles, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, applicable in the Host Country; and
c. refrain from any act involving fraud or corruption, in a manner consistent with any international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the Host Country and all internationally-recognised anti-corruption standards applicable in the Host Country, including by establishing and maintaining effective reporting and compliance.
13.3. The IOC, through its Coordination Commission referred to in §27, shall establish a reporting mechanism to address the obligations referred to in §13.1 and §13.2 in connection with the activities of the Host City, the Host NOC and the OCOG related to the organisation of the Games.
15. Sustainability and Olympic legacy
15.1. The Host City, the Host NOC and the OCOG undertake to carry out all activities foreseen under the HCC in a manner which embraces sustainable development and contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.