Rio 2016: The Exclusion Games
Children Win, a campaign led by Terre des Hommes, was launched in February 2014 to ensure that leading sports bodies mitigate risks and enhance opportunities of mega sporting events on children, both direct and indirect.
The Exclusion Games
The Brazilian civil society ‘World Cup and Olympics Popular Committee of Rio de Janeiro’ has launched the Dossier ‘Mega-Events and Human Rights Violations in Rio de Janeiro‘.
Both the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and Rio´s mayor, Eduardo Paes, have entitled the 2016 Rio Olympics the “Games of Inclusion” and promised a legacy of tolerance, peace and social inclusion for the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (‘Wonderful City’). The Dossier, however, reveals a different story: a series of human rights violations released in the context of the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth edition of the ‘Mega-events and Human Rights violations in Rio de Janeiro Dossier’, shows that violations of housing, working and children’s rights among others make this far from the “Inclusion Games”.
Among the exposed violations, two key violations of children’s rights in Brazil were identified:
Violence against homeless children and adolescents, during protests and evictions, and in favelas – particularly by the “UPPs (Brazil’s Military Police Force)” – was reported. These “security measures”, especially in the so called “pacification operations” have caused many casualties and human rights violations. Children and adolescents have shown signs of psychological and emotional damage due to these traumatic experiences.
Many disadvantaged communities in Brazil have been forcibly removed to open space for big infrastructure projects connected to Mega Sporting Events. In Rio, at least 4,120 families have already been evicted of their homes and 2,486 are still threatened with forced removals to make way for projects directly or indirectly associated with the Olympic Games.
Due to these evictions many children are no longer able to go to school, they could become victims of exploitation, child labour and sexual violence. They lose access to education, health and other vital social services.
The Dossier closes with 16 requests by the Popular Committee, including the end of forced removals, end of harassment towards street vendors, sport as education, health and not just business, demilitarization of the police, end of ‘street cleansing’ of street children and adolescents, among many others.
[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]