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.

1 - Safe sport

Through its work on “safe sport”, the IOC is actively taking steps to protect athletes from all forms of harassment and abuse in sport. Since 2004, it has developed a range of programmes and initiatives at Youth Olympic Games and Olympic Games level, as well as broader initiatives beyond Games time that cover education and awareness-raising, such as the Athlete Safeguarding Toolkit, which helps NOCs and IFs to develop and implement specific policies and procedures in this field, and a series of supporting webinars. The safeguarding of athletes is embedded in the overarching fundamental principles of Olympism found in the Olympic Charter, the IOC Code of Ethics, the Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement, the IOC Medical Code, and the IOC Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration.

2 - Athlete inclusion and non-discrimination

The IOC fosters the inclusion of all athletes in sport, including transgender athletes and athletes with intersex variations. It has recently released a new Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-discrimination. Through this Framework, the IOC seeks to promote a safe and welcoming environment for everyone involved in sport, consistent with the principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter. At the same time the Framework acknowledges the central role that eligibility criteria play in ensuring fairness, in high-level organised sport, in the women’s category.  

Whilst the Framework focuses on elite sport, a large part is also applicable to recreational and grassroots sport.

The Framework is the result of a two-year long consultation, which has included human rights, legal and medical perspectives, as well as the voices of athletes who may be directly impacted by the criteria (cisgender, transgender or regardless of their sex characteristics).  The IOC has also consulted with a number of IFs to better understand the challenges that they are facing in ensuring a level playing field in their contests and contexts.

3 - Responsible Sourcing

The IOC has started to cascade its work on procurement to the NOCs and IFs. In this regard, the IOC has published, as part of its Sustainability Essentials series, a guide on “Sustainable Sourcing in Sport” with reference to the UNGPs.

The IOC as an organisation

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.
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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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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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