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

Pacific Spying: Mass Surveillance Of NZers Confirmed By Former GCSB Director - Contradicting PM John Key

Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson Reports: Yesterday morning former GCSB Director Sir Bruce Ferguson confirmed mass surveillance of New Zealnders in the Pacific is taking place as revealed in the latest Snowden leaks investigated by Nicky Hager. In 2013 John Key told press gallery reporters that in the event mass surveillance was found have been conducted by the GCSB, he and the director of the GCSB - his childhood friend Ian Fletcher - would resign. As the controversy deepens a year and half later Fletcher has already resigned. But will Key? More>>

Gordon Campbell: Legal Fudging Of The GCSB Revelations

As many have noted, the Hager/Snowden revelations of the spying by our security agencies on our Pacific neighbours and allies is a virtual re-run of the pre-election debate. It is a situation where the government (a) stonewalls, (b) baldly asserts that mass surveillance is not occurring despite the Snowden evidence that it is, and (c) claims that the GCSB actions were lawful. Yet as Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman says, this can be true only if the legislation passed last year by the Key government has made the mass surveillance of New Zealanders – and the related handing over of their private data to the NSA – lawful. More>>

Latest:

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Women's Day, March 8: It’s Time For Men To Step Up For Gender Equality

UN Women is launching the HeForShe campaign in New Zealand at the International Women's Day Parliamentary Breakfast, and is calling on New Zealand men — including politicians and community and sports leaders — to show their commitment to gender equality by signing up to this global campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news