The IOC as an organisation

Olympic House

The IOC is taking a number of steps to deliver on its human rights responsibilities in its own operations. It has increased the alignment and coherence of its existing strategies on sustainability, gender equality and inclusion with human rights standards.

1 - Building a strategic approach

The development of an IOC human rights strategic framework is aimed at reinforcing this coherence and alignment, strengthening the IOC’s overall approach in this field, and embedding, in a more systematic and comprehensive way, the IOC’s human rights approach across its operations.

The IOC’s work is informed by a series of recommendations from a recent IOC commissioned report by two leading human rights experts, HRH Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Rachel Davis, Vice-President of Shift, a leading centre of expertise in business and human rights.

This strong commitment is reflected in Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the IOC’s roadmap, which includes a series of specific objectives to reinforce the promotion and respect of human rights. These objectives build on the work undertaken over the last few years in this field and specifically call for the following actions:

  • Adopt an overarching IOC human rights strategic framework with specific action plans for each of the IOC’s three different spheres of responsibility (the IOC as an organisation, the IOC as the owner of the Olympic Games and the IOC as the leader of the Olympic Movement)
  • Link the overarching IOC human rights strategic framework to various existing or forthcoming IOC strategies
  • Amend the Olympic Charter and the “Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance” of the Olympic and Sports Movement to better articulate human rights responsibilities
  • Enable the newly created IOC Human Rights unit to develop the IOC’s internal capacity with regard to human rights.

2 - Stakeholder engagement

The IOC engages on the topic of human rights with a wide range of stakeholders locally and globally, so we can better understand them and incorporate their expectations.

Our stakeholders include athletes, through direct engagement and the various athletes’ commissions, and constituents of the Olympic Movement, such as International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees. In addition, we have a continuous dialogue with our Worldwide Olympic Partners to share information across all areas of our partnership and joint operations. Partners have provided input, including sharing best practices and their experiences, regarding the development of the IOC’s human rights strategic framework.

We also work with leading organisations in the field of human rights, such as civil society organisations, technical and strategic advisors and multilateral institutions. We maintain an open dialogue and ongoing engagement with the Centre for Sports and Human Rights, as well.

3 - Responsible sourcing

The IOC is committed to promoting adherence to social and environmental standards in its supply chain.

The standard agreement that we enter into with all our direct suppliers includes labour rights and human rights clauses along with the IOC Supplier Code, which draws on internationally recognised standards such as the UNGPs and ILO Conventions. The IOC’s direct suppliers have to comply with its requirements.

In addition, the IOC has started to map and review geographical and industry-specific salient risks, in partnership with third parties and its suppliers. It will continue to expand its responsible sourcing programme and strengthen its human rights due diligence across its value and supply chain.

The IOC as the owner of the Olympic Games

The objective is to ensure that human rights principles are upheld in the selection process, and the organisation and delivery of the Olympic Games. 
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The IOC as the leader of the Olympic Movement

National flag bearers enter the stadium during the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
The IOC works closely with the Olympic Movement, especially the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) on human rights matters.
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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.
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