Olympics: Light the Flame for Workers’ Human Rights!
London 2012 to Rio 2016 - The London 2012 Olympics has been a celebration of equality, diversity and fair play - in sport. But behind the scenes of this spectacular sporting extravaganza, these values were not extended to all workers who helped to make the Games possible.
Evidence shows that workers making London-2012 merchandise like mascots and pin badges, and goods for Adidas, the official sportswear partner, were exploited. Wages were not even enough to cover basic needs like food, accommodation and medical expenses. Workers reported being forced to work excessive hours, sometimes in hazardous conditions, and in none of the factories investigated was there a union or credible worker committee.
The UK Playfair 2012 campaign has made some progress with the organisers of London 2012 (LOCOG) and they have now gone further than any previous Games organiser in taking steps to protect workers’ rights. However, the organisers could have done more. Workers were not informed about their rights and labour standards in LOCOG’s Sustainable Sourcing Code. LOCOG did not tell workers how to use its complaints mechanism to report violations, in local languages. And the organisers chose not to work with local unions and labour rights organizations to monitor and improve conditions.
So, as the Games pass from London 2012 to Rio 2016, join us in calling on the International Olympic Committee, as head of the Olympic Movement, to end this exploitation. The IOC can help do this by learning from London 2012 and building on the progress made. The IOC should also include respect for human rights and internationally recognised labour standards in its Code of Ethics, and require all National Olympic Committees to include this in their contracts with companies supplying goods and services. It’s time for the Olympic Movement and companies that profit from the Games to really live up to the values of fair play, equality and respect - for all.
Take action http://www.playfair2012.org.uk/lighttheflame/