Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Commonwealth Games must not discriminate

Commonwealth Games must not discriminate


Glasgow2014 urged to secure pledges from competing nations

London - 12 June 2014


Organisers of next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, are being urged to secure pledges of non-discrimination from participating countries.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation has written to the Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, David Grevemberg - a copy of the letter follows below.

“We are asking Glasgow2014 to require competing nations to sign a pledge of non-discrimination in their team selection, in accordance with Article 7 of the constitution of the Commonwealth Games Federation - but with expanded grounds of non-discrimination such as ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation and gender identity,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“This would be a very significant, high-impact equality initiative. It has never been done before and would make Glasgow2014 unique, trailblazing and rightly deserving of public acclaim.

“While all participating countries agree to accept the Commonwealth Games constitution, which includes Article 7, this is a mere formality. They have never been specifically asked to agree to non-discrimination.

“Prejudice, discrimination and legal victimisation are prevalent in many Commonwealth countries, which may prevent affected athletes securing access to top class sports facilities and training camps - and inhibit their selection for the Commonwealth Games. This needs to be challenged.

“The Commonwealth Games should foster a culture of equality where athletes compete solely on the basis of merit.

“We hope Glasgow 2014 will accept our proposal to further enhance its existing commitment to equality,” said Mr Tatchell.

Copy of the Peter Tatchell Foundation letter to Glasgow2014

Chief Executive
Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games

10 June 2014

Dear David Grevemberg

Non-discrimination pledge from countries competing at the Commonwealth Games

Article 7 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth Games Federation states: “there shall be no discrimination against any country or person on any grounds whatsoever, including race, colour, gender, religion or politics.”

Currently, 41 of the 53 Commonwealth member countries have laws that criminalise homosexuality. Seven of these have a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In parts of two Commonwealth countries - Nigeria and Pakistan - lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people can face execution under Sharia law.

In addition, these countries have such high levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that it would be very difficult - if not impossible - for an openly LGBT athlete to be selected by their country to compete in the Commonwealth Games. Prejudice would almost certainly preclude their selection - and preclude their access to international level training facilities within their home countries.

While Glasgow2014 cannot be held responsible for the anti-gay laws of 80% of Commonwealth member states, it does have a responsibility to ensure that there is no discrimination by participating nations in the selection of their national teams.

This issue of discrimination in team selection is not confined to LGBT competitors. In some Commonwealth countries there are serious problems of prejudice and discrimination based on ethnicity, caste, gender and disability. This may diminish access to top class sports facilities and training camps - and inhibit selection for the Commonwealth Games.

While we congratulate Glasgow2014 on its commitment to not discriminate, we believe you also have a duty to ensure that competing nations give an undertaking of non-discrimination in their team selection.

We request that Glasgow2014 requires all competing nations to sign a pledge on the Opening Day of the Commonwealth Games that they do not discriminate in team selection on the grounds of race, ethnicity, caste, gender, disability, faith or non-faith, sexual orientation or gender identity.

This would uphold Article 7 of the constitution and values of the Commonwealth Games - and send an important signal that Glasgow 2014 is inclusive and committed to ensure equality for all competitors and nations.

The commitment to non-discrimination needs to come from the top and be publicly visible - not only from the Commonwealth Games organisers but from every national team too.

Making Article 7 a reality requires an active pledge by all the participating national teams.

We ask you to facilitate this.

Thank you for considering our request.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news