The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is following up on its human rights commitments and has announced its plans to amend the Olympic Charter accordingly. The IOC Executive Board today submitted a change in the Olympic Charter to the 141st IOC Session, which will meet next month in Mumbai, India.
The proposal aims to include additional wording in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism as an overarching commitment to the respect for human rights, specifically in Fundamental Principles of Olympism 1 and 4. The proposal is a result of the work by the Legal Affairs Commission and its consultation with the Advisory Committee on Human Rights.
The proposed wording in Fundamental Principle of Olympism 1 is:
Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for internationally recognised human rights and universal fundamental ethical principles within the remit of the Olympic Movement.
The proposed wording in Fundamental Principle of Olympism 4 is:
The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have access to the practice of sport, without discrimination of any kind in respect of internationally recognised human rights within the remit of the Olympic Movement. The Olympic spirit requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
“This is a major step in our commitment to the respect for human rights in the Olympic Movement,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “With this change to the Olympic Charter, we are also sending a strong message to our stakeholders. It marks an important milestone in the IOC’s human rights work.”
The IOC also plans to align the Olympic Charter with the Guidelines on Athlete Expression that were introduced by the IOC Executive Board on 21 April 2021 and applied successfully at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and then at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The proposed additional wording to Rule 40 will make it clear that all competitors, team officials and other team personnel at the Olympic Games shall enjoy freedom of expression in keeping with the Olympic values and the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, and in accordance with the Guidelines determined by the IOC Executive Board.
The proposed wording ofRule 40, Participation in the Olympic Games, is:
- To participate in the Olympic Games, a competitor, team official or other team personnel must respect and comply with the Olympic Charter, the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions, including the conditions of participation established by the IOC, as well as with the rules of the relevant IF as approved by the IOC, and the competitor, team official or other team personnel must be entered by his NOC.
- All competitors, team officials or other team personnel in the Olympic Games shall enjoy freedom of expression in keeping with the Olympic values and the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, and in accordance with the Guidelines determined by the IOC Executive Board.