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IOC sets up human rights advisory committee

IOC sets up human rights advisory committee

The committee will be chaired by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein and will begin operating alongside the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday it will form a new committee to advise the executive board on human rights issues within sports.

The new committee will be chaired by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the former United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights.

According to the IOC’s president, Thomas Bach, “human rights standards” will be included in Olympic host-city contracts beginning with the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

"This commitment and this committee, of course, will concentrate on the spheres of work of the IOC that means, in particular, the organization of the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games," Bach told reporters.

"We can, we will, not pretend that the IOC or the Olympic Games can solve human rights issues beyond our spheres of work. There is enough to do within our spheres of work."

He added that the new committee will advise the IOC’s executive board on transgender rights later this year.

IOC will not question China

During an IOC meeting in Tokyo, Bach was asked if the committee would look at human rights in China, where the ruling party has been criticized for the internment of thousands of Muslims in Western China.

Bach said the IOC would not question China – the hosts of the 2022 Winter Olympics – because it “has neither the mandate nor the authority to solve human rights problems” that are clearly “political issues.” 

We should concentrate on what we can really achieve and what we can really do,” Bach concluded.

A report by Human Rights Watch denounced that the internment camps in western China involved “arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment”.

The Asian giant denies the existence of those camps, but declared that some minor criminals are sent to “vocational education and employment training centers” to help with their rehabilitation.

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