China: A gold medal for repression

New ITUC research shows the actions of the Chinese Communist Party have made Beijing unsafe for athletes and others involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics, 4 – 20 February 2022.

China: A gold medal for repression” details five repressive policies of the ruling party that make China and the world less safe:

  •  repression and imprisonment in Hong Kong;
  •  intimidation of LGBT+ people;
  •  violations of fundamental rights at work, in supply chains and in society;
  •  repression and exploitation of ethnic minorities; and
  •  silence and obstruction over the spread of COVID-19.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “The sports of the Olympics have rules, but the Chinese Communist Party has shown that it has little or no respect for international laws and standards and is becoming increasingly repressive.

“Just look at Hong Kong. In full view of the world, they have crushed any person or group that attempts to exercise the most basic rights and freedoms. If they handed out medals for repression, the Chinese Communist Party would get a gold every time.”

Ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the ITUC is demanding that

  •  the International Olympic Committee (IOC) guarantee the security and safety of athletes and all others who are attending the Games;
  •  governments guarantee the safety of athletes and others from their countries traveling to the Games;
  •  international Olympic sponsors, including Airbnb, Allianz, AtoS, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, Toyota and Visa, review their association with the Beijing Winter Olympics in light of the repressive policies of China’s ruling party; and
  •  the ruling party end its policies of repression and allow fundamental rights and freedoms under international rules.

Along with the human rights concerns, independent and expert assessment of the number of Covid-19 infections at the Tokyo Olympics, where there were important gaps in prevention protocols, gives rise to serious concerns about the Beijing event, in particular given the suppression of vital information by the Chinese authorities.

“How can the IOC and its partners be sure that the Winter Olympics will not contribute to oppression and human rights violations and that athletes, their teams, journalists and others attending them are protected in a country ruled by this Party?

“Having chosen Beijing, they can’t be sure, but they can do a lot to curb the risks and ensure safety. The IOC needs to stand up and do its job, along with its business partners and governments, and guarantee the safety of everyone involved in the Games. The five Olympic rings the IOC and millions of athletes and supporters around the world are so proud of are being tarnished by the policies of the Chinese Communist Party. In Beijing, the Olympic symbol represents five rings of repression curtailing rights and freedoms,” said Sharan Burrow.

Related news

FIFA: Publish Robust Rights Framework for 2026 World Cup

FIFA: Publish Robust Rights Framework for 2026 World Cup

(New York) – FIFA should immediately release and commit to implementing the robust Human Rights Framework for the 2026 Men’s Soccer World Cup, which it developed through extensive consultations with civil society stakeholders and public officials from across North America. The framework, which FIFA shared with host cities in March 2024, will govern labor and human rights for all […]

READ MORE

“Solidarity is a very strong tool in this fight.”

“Solidarity is a very strong tool in this fight.”

Athletes Network for Safer Sports Kicks Off with its First Online Event (Nyon, Switzerland, 10 June 2024) — After a year of careful preparations, the Sports & Rights Alliance has launched the Athletes Network for Safer Sports, a new program based on findings of an in-depth study and needs assessment consultation with survivors of abuse in sports. […]

READ MORE

Related resources

Olympics: Act on Sex Abuse Complaints by Indian Athletes

Olympics: Act on Sex Abuse Complaints by Indian Athletes

Sport & Rights Alliance Calls for Independent Investigation After Protesters Detained (Nyon, Switzerland) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should immediately act to ensure reports of alleged sexual abuse of athletes by the president of the Wrestling Federation of India, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, are investigated fully, the Sport & Rights Alliance said today. In a statement on May […]

READ MORE

Mali: Inquiry Links Basketball Federation to Sexual Abuse

Sport & Rights Alliance Calls for Protection, Remedy, Governance Reform (Nyon, Switzerland, 27 September, 2021) —The International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA)  report on systemic sexual harassment and abuse within the Mali Basketball Federation (FMBB) vindicates the victims of abuse, survivors, whistleblowers, and activists who took enormous risks to bring this abuse to light, the Sport & […]

READ MORE

Mali: Girls’ Coach Gets Life Ban for Sex Abuse

Mali: Girls’ Coach Gets Life Ban for Sex Abuse

FIBA Punishes 5 Basketball Officials But Needs to Exclude Abusers, Protect Witnesses (New York) – The International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) sanctions on top women’s basketball officials in Mali confirm the responsibility to remedy systemic abuse of young athletes, Human Rights Watch said today. But the appointment of another official suspected of abuse as head of the Mali Basketball […]

READ MORE

Join the Network

Sport has the potential to be a catalyst for human development, unity, and freedom, but too often it instead brings harm to its athletes, fans, and communities. We exist to uncover and rectify the many abuses that exist both in and around sport. We aim to transform sports into an authentic force for good.