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Olympic hosts sign communiqué to promote respect for human rights

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30 August, 2012A joint human rights communiqué was signed today by the governments of the four countries holding the current and next three summer and winter Olympics (the UK, Russia, Brazil and Korea).

Representatives from the UK, and future Olympic and Paralympic host nations, Russia, Brazil and the Republic of Korea, signed the Communiqué pledging to harness the potential of their Games to promote human rights, before an audience of athletes, members of the Olympic family, human rights organizations and international media.

Future hosts pledged to use their Games to promote awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the values of respect, diversity, tolerance and fairness, and the need to combat all forms of discrimination.

Play Fair, a campaign coordinated by the International Trades Union Confederation, IndustriALL Global Union, the Building and Woodworkers International and the Clean Clothes Campaign, has long demanded that the International Olympic Committee commit to supporting fundamental workers’ rights in the Olympic Charter and to require that all companies which have Olympic licenses respect these rights. Today’s communique adds to the pressure on the International Olympics Committee to fulfil these demands.

Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL said:

“Article 23 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to just and favourable conditions of work, remuneration and to form and join trade unions. In light of the communiqué signed today we will be calling on host countries to explain how they intend to protect these rights in Olympic supply chains.”

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said:

"By endorsing so strongly the UN Declaration of Human Rights, these four governments have committed themselves to protecting the rights of workers building the facilities, staffing the Games and making the sports equipment and memorabilia to decent wages, equal pay and safety.

"The IOC and governments in Olympic host countries are now on notice. Make the next three Games sweatshop free, healthy for all, and better than ever!"