Human Rights Watch has extensively documented numerous types of human rights violations in the context of Russia’s hosting of the 2014 Sochi Games, which will launch on February 7, 2014. Human Rights Watch has regularly alerted the International Olympic Committee, key National Olympic Committees and corporate sponsors on these ongoing abuses.
The main corporate sponsors of the Sochi Games--participants in “The Olympic Partner” Program known as TOP Sponsors--are 10 major international companies: Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, and Visa. The Games will be broadcast in the United States by NBC.
Human Rights Watch wrote three detailed letters to each of these companies--in June, August, and October 2013--to call their attention to the serious human rights abuses underway in Sochi. Human Rights Watch also sent the sponsors a specific set of recommendations outlining five concrete steps they could take.
As of November 8, nine companies have responded to Human Rights Watch:
8 TOP Sponsors and NBCUniversal responded:
- Coca-Cola response - also agreed to meet with HRW
- Dow response - also agreed to meet with HRW
- GE response - also agreed to meet with HRW
- McDonald’s response
- Omega 1st response 2nd response
- Panasonic response
- Procter & Gamble 1st response 2nd response
- Samsung response
- NBCUniversal response - also agreed to meet with HRW
2 TOP Sponsors have not responded (as of Nov. 8, 2013):