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Complaint against IOC by Swiss Tibetan NGOs acknowledged

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Image representational (Photo/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 29: A complaint registered by Switzerland-based Tibetan NGOs against the International Olympic Committee has been acknowledged by the Swiss National Contact point for the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidelines, for further mediation process last week. The Tibetan groups had filed a complaint against the international sports committee in July, urging the regulatory body to hold the IOC accountable for their negligence in awarding the 2022 Winter Olympics to China.

The Swiss National Contact point for OECD said that they will commence the mediation process between the complainants and the respondent. “We welcome the help that has been offered and hope that constructive talks between the Tibet organizations and the IOC will start soon,” President of Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association Thomas Büchli said in a statement. The complaints demanded that the committee carry out its due diligence in ensuring no human rights violation takes place in the host country.

The document was issued on the day of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics 2021, as the committee continued to ignore all calls from rights-based organizations, including Human Rights Watch, for their concerns regarding the widespread violations in Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, and Hong Kong among others. Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association (GSTF), Tibetan Youth Association in Europe (VTJE), Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (TGSL), and Tibetan Women’s Organization in Switzerland (TFOS) are the four activist groups that had first contacted the SNCP for more intervention.

The complainants reiterated that the IOC, despite being aware of the Chinese human rights record, awarded China to be the host of 2022 Olympics. The groups further accused the sponsors, partners and suppliers of the Winter Games for being directly or indirectly complicit in alleged forced labor or internment camps in East Turkestan, which flouts the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises.

Special Appointee for Human Rights from Tibet Bureau Geneva, Thinlay Chukki said in a statement, “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.” 

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