Dr. Thomas Bach
President
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
1007 Lausanne
Switzerland

February 23, 2015

Ref: Implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 – Bidding Criteria

Dear President Bach,

Thank you very much for your letter dated December 17, 2014. We are very much looking forward to future collaboration with the IOC.

The newly formed Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA) remains committed to upholding human rights, labour rights, children’s rights, anti-corruption and sustainability standards and principles in sport, particularly in major sports events.

As you know, too often major sports events have seen people forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for infrastructure, workers exploited, campaigners locked up, the environment damaged beyond repair and notoriously opaque bidding processes.

The recommendations in the IOC’s Agenda 2020 are a chance to change that and ensure human rights, the environment and anti-corruption measures are central to all stages of the Olympic Games - from bidding, through to the development and delivery phase to final reporting.

As the IOC prepares for the close of registration to bid for the 2024 Olympics in September 2015, two critical steps should be taken towards ensuring that those Games, and all Olympic events that follow can be celebrated not just for their sporting glory but for truly upholding the principles of Olympism.

The first step is to include in the bidding criteria and accordingly in the Host City Contract for 2024:

  • The standards of the International Labour Organisation, in particular the core ILO Conventions covering freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, protection from discrimination in employment and eliminating forced labour and child labour.[1]
  • Concrete and measurable human rights impact indicators, in particular of the right to freedom of expression and assembly, the right to housing, and the protection of human rights defenders and child rights specific provisions. A robust due diligence procedure shall be put in place to ensure that the Games do not cause or contribute to human rights violations or abuses. This should apply in the hosting and staging of an Olympic event, keeping in mind the responsibility of the host state to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business enterprises.[2]
  • Measures to ensure that the Organising Committee complies with the highest standards of anti-corruption and business integrity, for example, as laid out in the Handbook “A Strategy for Safeguarding against Corruption in Major Public Events” of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. [3]

All these standards should not be based on goodwill, but must be non-negotiable and absolutely binding for all stakeholders.

The second step is to develop from the very beginning an independent monitoring mechanism to make sure promises made in the bidding phase and fixed in the Host City Contract are adhered to over the lifetime of the event.

Expert organisations and stakeholders should be consulted and involved in this process from an early stage to ensure transparency and accountability of its implementation as much as possible.

As members of the Sport and Rights Alliance, we look forward to your response and remain at your disposal for any questions you may have and for further in-depth consultation.

Sincerely,

The Sport and Rights Alliance - SRA

Amnesty International

FIFPro – World Players‘ Union

Football Supporters Europe

Human Rights Watch

International Trade Union Confederation

Supporters Direct Europe

Terre des Hommes International Federation

Transparency International Germany