GENEVA: The Swiss National Contact Point (NCP) has accepted the complaint filed by Swiss-based Tibet groups against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for violating the OECD guidelines by having awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics Games to China.
The complainants had alleged that the IOC had awarded the hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics to the People’s Republic of China on July 31th 2015, despite being aware of the widespread and grave human rights violations in Tibet, East Turkestan (Chinese: Xinjiang), Hong Kong, the South Mongolia and other areas of China, including mainland China.
The Tibetan groups pointed out that the IOC was already aware of the massive human rights violations before, during and after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and was witness to it, and yet again awarded the Olympic Games to the People’s Republic of China.
Several of the sponsors, partners and suppliers of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing are allegedly connected directly or indirectly to the forced labor / internment camps (the PR China calls them “re-education camps” or “vocational training camps”) in East Turkestan and benefit from products manufactured using forced labor
“The human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China, especially in Tibet and East Turkestan, has deteriorated over the years. The companies involved in the PRC should therefore give human rights the highest priority in their dealings. This specific complaint is an important step in ensuring that multinational corporations like the International Olympic Committee commit themselves to upholding human rights through their words and deeds, ”said Thinlay Chukki, Tibetan legal and human rights expert, who supported the four Tibetan organizations in the process represented by the SNCP.
The Swiss NCP believed a mediation could also contribute to the exploration of the roles and responsibilities of individual actors (e.g. sponsors, suppliers) according to the different provisions of the OECD Guidelines.
Then Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association (GSTF) expressed satisfaction over Swiss NCP taking cognizance of their complaint and hoped the discussion between Tibet groups and IOC will begin soon.
“We are very pleased about the decision of the Swiss National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (SNKP) and note with satisfaction that the SNCP recognizes the materiality of our complaint. We welcome the help that has been offered and hope that constructive talks between the Tibet organizations and the IOC will start soon ,” says Thomas Büchli, GSTF President.
The IOC stated the alleged human rights violations by China listed by the submitting parties have nothing to do with the them or the Olympic Games. The IOC indicated that it is not in a position to perform due diligence verification measures on activities of a state in which the Olympic Games take place.
“However, the IOC conducts due diligence checks and requests assurances from entities with which it has relationships, to the extent those are related to the IOC’s operations,” the committee added.
It also emphasized that as a global sports organisation, it must stay politically neutral while operating in a highly political world.