Respecting Human Rights
At all times, the IOC recognises and upholds human rights, as enshrined in both the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics.
The IOC is committed to improving the promotion and respect of human rights within the scope of its responsibility across its three spheres of activity – as an organisation, as the owner of the Olympic Games and as the leader of the Olympic Movement.
The objective is to ensure that people’s rights are put at the core of our operations and are respected in line with international agreements and standards – within the IOC’s remit.
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and other globally recognised standards, such as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ILO conventions, help the IOC inform its approach on human rights within specific areas, such as responsible sourcing, our approach to safe sport for athletes or the Games.
Human rights in the three spheres of responsibility
The IOC is taking action at three main levels to improve the promotion of and respect for human rights, and to deliver on its human rights responsibilities.
The IOC Strategic Framework on Human Rights explains the long-term objectives and specific actions the IOC commits to take to further respect for human rights in its remit.
In line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 , this Strategic Framework covers and provides plans for each of the IOC’s three spheres of activity: IOC as an organisation, IOC as owner of the Olympic Games, and IOC as leader of the Olympic Movement.
Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination
The IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-discrimination aims to help sports bodies provide pathways to inclusion in elite sport for all athletes, without discriminating on the basis of gender identity or sex variations, while defining disproportionate advantage in ways that preserve meaningful and fair competition.
The IOC is progressing further in the establishment of a Human Rights Strategic Framework. During the final day of the 139th IOC Session, IOC Members were presented with a progress report as an introduction to the key principles of the IOC Human Rights Strategic Framework, which is scheduled to be finalised by September 2022.
The recommendations were produced by independent experts HRH Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Rachel Davis, Vice-President of Shift – a non-profit centre of expertise on business and human rights – as part of a report commissioned by the IOC in 2019. They were developed following a consultative process with key internal staff and expert civil society stakeholders.
Preferred Hosts are required to submit responses to the Future Host Questionnaire and, among other things, describe how they will seek to identify and address adverse human rights impacts, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, throughout the lifecycle of the Games.
As part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, human rights standards were reinforced in the “Operational Requirements” of the Host City Contract for the Olympic Games 2024 and beyond.