Both the President of the
International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and Rio´s mayor, Eduardo Paes,
have entitled the 2016 Rio Olympics the "Games of Inclusion” and promised a
legacy of tolerance, peace and social inclusion for the "Cidade Maravilhosa” (‘Wonderful
City’). The Dossier published, however, reveals a different story: a
series ofhuman rights violations released in the context of the FIFA
World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth edition of the
‘Mega-events and Human Rights violations in Rio de Janeiro Dossier’, launched
at the same time as the
executive board of the IOC meets
in Lausanne to discuss the implementation of the Agenda 2020, shows that
violations of housing, working and children’s rights among others make this far
from the "Inclusion Games” promised by International Olympic Committee (IOC)
President Thomas Bach.
Among the exposed violations,
two key violations of children’s rights in Brazil were identified:
The 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games have both greatly
aggravated the level of police and army violence in Rio de Janeiro.
Violence against homeless children and adolescents, during protests and
evictions, and in favelas – particularly by the "UPPs (Brazil’s Military Police
Force)” – was reported. These "security measures”, especially in the so called
"pacification operations” have caused many casualties and human rights
violations. Children and adolescents have shown signs of psychological and
emotional damage due to these traumatic experiences.
Many disadvantaged communities in Brazil have been forcibly removed to open space for big infrastructure projects connected to Mega Sporting
Events. In Rio, at
least 4,120 families have already been evicted of their homes and 2,486 are
still threatened with forced removals to make way for projects directly or
indirectly associated with the Olympic Games.
Due to these evictions many
children are no longer able to go to school, they could become victims of
exploitation, child labour and sexual violence. They lose access to education,
health and other vital social services.
The Dossier closes with 16
requests by the Popular Committee, including the end of forced
removals, end of harassment towards street vendors, sport as education, health
and not just business, demilitarization of the police, end of ‘street
cleansing’ of street children and adolescents, among many others.
Terre des Hommes, who contributed to the chapter of the Dossier on "Children
and Adolescents”, in collaboration with the University of
Dundee, is calling for an end of this violence and for the rights of
children and families to be fully respected before, during and after the Rio
Olympics in 2016.
The Olympic Games should not harm the local population and its children at any
time. Although host states bear the responsibility for the abuses that occur in
their countries, sport-governing bodies, such as FIFA or IOC, also have the
responsibility to respect and assure human rights. Terre des Hommes calls on
the IOC to respect human rights.
It is time that the IOC
lived up to its own values enshrined in the Olympic Charter.
• Very concretely, Terre
des Hommes urges
the IOC to intervene, at a minimum, to halt the ongoing forced evictions connected to the Olympics and prevent the possible police violence
and "cleansing” of children in street situation before the Olympics.
• On a policy level, the IOC is requested to: issue a public human rights commitment
and policy; have in place human rights capacity; ensure access to remedy;
undertake human rights due diligence; conduct monitoring of all stages of the
Games; and enable external independent monitoring.
• In order to prevent future violations at other events, Terre des Hommes asks
the IOC to include human rights as part of the decision for awarding any Games
and as explicit obligations in Host City Contracts.