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NHC calls on the IOC to promote implementation of international human rights standards by Kazakhstan

27 July 2015

In the run-up to Host City election for 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee has joined the campaign by the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and called on the International Olympic Committee to promote implementation of international human rights standards by the Kazakhstani Government.

The NHC underlined major human right concerns and critical conditions that require implementation of Preamble §L and clause §21 of the Host City contract for 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which contain specific commitments to human rights protection. The NHC underlined that public access to information, stakeholder dialogue, the possibility to organise and advocate for human rights and dignity are crucial safeguards against wide-scale abuses documented during preparation of mega sporting events in the past.

To prevent similar abuses if Almaty is elected host city for the 2022 Games, the NHC and partners called on the IOC to address the government of Kazakhstan to:

  • Revise repressive laws concerning peaceful assembly and association, the right to organise and bargain collectively, and bring them in line with the international standards;
  • Stop prosecuting independent media and blocking access to critical web sites; and
  • Create a committee for monitoring implementation of the relevant human rights obligations by Kazakhstan that includes local stakeholders and independent Kazakhstani human rights defenders.

The full letter can be found here.