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Olympics sponsors in spotlight as Beijing Winter Games loom

ANI | Updated: Nov 14, 2021 19:16 IST


New York [US], November 14 (ANI): Ahead of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has raised concern about the event, saying the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) major corporate sponsors should "explain" how they are using their leverage to address human rights abuses in China.
In a statement, HRW said that sponsors should also press the IOC to adopt a human rights policy to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for any adverse human rights impacts across all Olympic operations and events, including for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
The rights group said that the Chinese government has committed crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, escalated repression in Hong Kong, tightened control over the media, and deployed mass surveillance.

"There are just three months until the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, but corporate sponsors remain silent over how they are using their influence to address China's appalling human rights record," said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. "They are squandering the opportunity to show their commitment to human rights standards and risk instead being associated with an Olympics tainted by censorship and repression."
The TOP (The Olympic Partner) sponsors collectively pay billions of dollars in fees to be associated with the five Olympics Rings brand and are a significant source of IOC income, the group said.
Earlier, HRW had written to the companies in May 2021, asking them how they are managing the human rights risks of their involvement with the 2022 Beijing Olympics. However, it has received a response from very few companies.
In December last year, HRW wrote to the International Olympic Committee asking it what human rights due diligence the Olympic organizer had done around the preparations for the 2022 Beijing Olympics and to explain its efforts to manage issues connected to the Games.
"The Olympic corporate sponsors have taken no evident steps to press the IOC to adopt human rights that are now standard across the business world," said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch. "As the clock ticks down toward the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on February 4, the TOP sponsors should publicly call on the Olympic system they are paying for to stand up for human rights and put an end to rampant abuses in China." (ANI)

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