Statement: Coalition Calls on IOC to Announce Human Rights Due Diligence Plan ahead of Beijing 2022 Olympics

The Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour joins the call for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to articulate its human rights due diligence plan this month, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics—one year ahead of the start of the Games.

The 2022 Winter Olympics are being held in Beijing despite ongoing forced labour and repression in the Uyghur Region. The IOC has taken a positive step in recognizing that it must take into account human rights while choosing venues, developing relationships with governments and businesses, and managing the Games. In March 2020, the IOC committed to develop a comprehensive and cohesive human rights strategy. Specifically, the IOC set a few “immediate next steps,” among them to “continue to strengthen human rights due diligence, the use of leverage and engagement with affected stakeholders in existing areas of work.”

Given that the 2022 Olympics are just twelve months away, amid increasing repression in the Uyghur Region, Tibet, Southern Mongolia, and Hong Kong, and broader use of surveillance and censorship technologies that violate human rights, “immediate” steps must include the public announcement of an IOC human rights due diligence plan to assess and reduce human rights impacts connected with the Games. This is particularly important given that human rights requirements in the host city contract adopted in 2017 do not apply to Beijing 2022.

The Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region is a coalition of civil society organisations and trade unions united to end state-sponsored forced labour and other egregious human rights abuses against people from the Uyghur Region in China, known to local people as East Turkistan.