Olympic protesters urge: No discrimination
Olympic protesters urge: No discrimination
Call for IOC to ban countries that discriminate in sport
Lobby today of the IOC at their London hotel
Olympic Charter bans discrimination. Not enforced by IOC
London - 22
Protesters today called on the
International Olympic Committee to “enforce the
Charter and its ban on discrimination in sport.”
“The IOC should disqualify from the Olympics countries that discriminate against athletes on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion/belief, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Olympic Charter prohibits discrimination in sport but it is not being enforced by the IOC,” said protest organiser and human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
The protesters today rallied outside the Hilton Park Lane Hotel, which is hosting the International Olympic Committee for the duration of the 2012 games.
“The government of Saudi Arabia restricts women’s participation in sport & requires women athletes to be accompanied by male guardians. Iran has gender segregation in sport & forces women athletes to entirely cover their bodies, even if they do not wish to do so. In 150-plus countries, gay athletes have to hide their sexuality to get selected for the Olympics and are at risk of imprisonment and even execution. The Olympic Charter outlaws discrimination in sport but it is not being enforced,” added Mr Tatchell.
“The IOC and LOCOG have a duty to uphold the Olympic Charter’s commitment to equality for all in sport. They are failing to do so.
“Our protest calls on the IOC to enforce the Olympic Charter.
1. All competing nations should be required
to sign a pledge that they do not
discriminate in sport on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion/belief, sexual
orientation or gender identity. If they refuse to sign, they should be denied
participation in the games.
2. Jacque Rogge and Lord Coe should
make a public statement that lesbian, gay,
bisexual and trangender (LGBT) athletes are welcome at London 2012 and that
participating nations must not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or
gender identity,” said Mr Tatchell.
Olympics: Open Letter to Lord Coe & IOC
Call for all nations to sign equality pledge - or face ban
prohibits discrimination. Not enforced
President of the International Olympic Committee
Chair of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic & Paralympic Games
18 July 2012
Dear Lord Coe and Jacques Rogge,
IOC & LOCOG urged to enforce Olympic Charter
The Olympic Charter prohibits discrimination in sport. It states:
“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement”
Despite this laudable commitment, many nations deny equal opportunities to women athletes and to those from ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. They violate the Olympic spirit of equality. This discrimination takes the form of a lack of equal access to sports facilities, competitions and the Olympic selection process.
Some examples include:
The government of Saudi Arabia provides almost no sports facilities for women. It has selected only two token women athletes to compete in the London Olympics - and neither woman actually lives in Saudi Arabia.
Iran practices systematic discrimination against its Kurdish, Arab and Baluch citizens. It holds gender segregated sports competitions and forces female competitors to cover themselves head-to-toe, even if they do not want to. Women athletes are forbidden to have male coaches or to participate in sports that involve physical contact with male sports officials.
India’s dalits (so-called ‘untouchables’) suffer economic and social marginalisation, which means they have little or no hope of developing their sporting talents and securing 2012 selection. They are, in effect, Olympic outcasts.
In over 150 countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes are forced to hide their sexuality in order to get selected and compete; otherwise they would be rejected and possibly face imprisonment. In the absence of laws against homophobic discrimination, victimisation and bias against LGBT athletes is endemic in most competing nations.
This social marginalisation and exclusion means that in many countries women and minorities have almost no chance of representing their country at London 2012, no matter how talented they are.
I call on the IOC and LOCOG to enforce the Olympic Charter by:
Requiring all competing nations to sign a pledge that they
discriminate in sport on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion/belief,
sexual orientation or gender identity. If they refuse to sign, they should be
denied participation in the games.
2. Making a public statement
that LGBT athletes are welcome at London
2012 and that participating nations must not discriminate on the grounds of
sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Olympics should be open to everyone, based solely on merit and without discrimination.
Sport should have no boundaries or exclusions. There should be a level-playing field for all competitors, regardless of their background.
Any country that discriminates in sport against women or ethnic, religious or sexual minorities should be disqualified from the 2012 Olympics
The Olympic Charter states:
Fundamental principles of Olympism
4. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
6. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
7. Belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter
Please advise me what action the IOC and LOCOG is taking to ensure compliance with the non-discrimination provisions of the Olympic Charter.
Director of the human rights advocacy organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.