Only hours after Human Rights Now had its oral statement played for the UN Human Rights Council’s 47th session — calling on organizers to cancel or postpone the Olympics due to the risk of covid-19 — Tokyo declared its fourth state of emergency to control the pandemic until August 22, covering the entire period of the Olympic Games.
The announcement only further emphasizes the great irresponsibility of organizers in holding the Olympics during a pandemic. We urge them to listen to the majority of Japan’s medical associations and cancel, postpone, or hold the Olympics without participants.
You can watch the full video of the statement as it was played for the Council below, read a transcript of the statement below that, and download a PDF version of the transcript from the following link: HRC47_OS_Olympics_Transcript.pdf
You can also see our statement directly on the UN website at the following link (at 1h 19m 39s): https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1f/k1f9ac79ks?kalturaStartTime=4782.
7 July 2021
Human Rights Council 47th Session
Quadrennial Panel on Sport & the Olympic Ideal
Speaker: Inès MOUILLARD
Transcript of Oral Statement on the Olympics
Human Rights Now expresses deep concern over the decision to continue the Summer Olympics in Tokyo despite the ongoing pandemic.
Covid-19 has infected over 180 million people and killed nearly 4 million. With athletes around the world coming to Japan, the risk to human life and health is unacceptably high. Most people in Japan are still not vaccinated; the number of newly infected people is increasing; and medical capacity is still woefully insufficient and at risk of collapse.
Top Japanese medical associations have called for the Olympics to be cancelled or held without spectators due to the infection risk, opinions the organizing committee has not seriously considered even as it has recruited medical personnel as volunteers, placing further burden on their capacity to fight covid. The committee is also arranging specifically for children’s attendance, placing them at risk.
Planned measures, such as vaccines and PCR tests for athletes, are not sufficient to prevent infections and discriminate by protecting some while placing others at risk. The Indian delegation has also complained of discriminatory treatment.
All of these policies contradict the Olympic Charter principles of human rights, non-discrimination, solidarity and friendship. All available financial and medical resources should be allocated not for holding an Olympics under a pandemic, but for the fight against covid worldwide with no one left behind. No Olympics should ever sacrifice the rights to health and life.
We urge organizers to cancel or postpone the Olympic Games until after the pandemic is over.