The Olympic Violations

REPORT | 9 January 2014
Gästarbetarna Ibrahim och Osman bygger en topprestaurang inför OS i Sotji. Foto: Anders Lindh

The preparations of the Olympic Games in Sochi have had negative impact on human rights, mainly the rights of migrant workers in connection to the building of arenas and overall infrastructure.

Local authorities have also imposed restrictions on the freedom of expression on Sochi-based organizations and media outlets.

In this report Swedwatch has interviewed The Swedish Olympic Committee, SOC, and their sponsors in order to gain their opinion regarding the Olympic movement’s responsibility for the effects on human rights in the host country, as well as what possibilities for action they have themselves.

One of the reasons why the Olympic movement do not contribute to improving the situation for human rights is the fact that the movement lacks a human rights policy. The Olympic Charter states that the movement’s fundamental goal is peaceful development and human dignity. But The Charter entirely lacks references to basic human rights conventions. Neither does the Charter contain any of the fundamental concepts of human rights, apart from protection against discrimination.

Swedwatch’s study shows that none of SOC’s main sponsors, Nordea, Vattenfall or ATG, have procedures for mitigating the risk for adverse human rights impacts in regards to their sponsoring activities, and they have not tried to influence the Olympic movement in order to increase its commitment to human rights in connection to the games.

Made in collaboration with: LO-TCO biståndsnämnd, RFSL och RFSU