The 141st IOC Session in Mumbai has approved changes to the Olympic Charter, as recommended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) in September this year, which will strengthen its human rights commitments.
Additional wording has been included 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 change is a result of the work by the Legal Affairs Commission and its consultation with the Advisory Committee on Human Rights.
The new 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 new 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 aligned the Olympic Charter with the Guidelines on Athlete Expression, which were introduced by the IOC EB on 21 April 2021 and applied successfully at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and then at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The additional wording to Rule 40 makes 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 new wording of Rule 40, Participation in the Olympic Games, which was agreed by the IOC Session, is:
1 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.
2 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.