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The impact of major sport events on democracy and human rights

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13004 | 06 July 2012

Kent HÄRSTEDT, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Josep Anton BARDINA PAU, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Michael CONNARTY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Paolo CORSINI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Carlos COSTA NEVES, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Jim DOBBIN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Corina FUSU, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Ms Alena GAJDŮŠKOVÁ, Czech Republic, SOC ; Mr Anvar MAKHMUTOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Ms Christine MARIN, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Muriel MARLAND-MILITELLO, France, EPP/CD ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Leander SCHÄDLER, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Ms Elisabeth SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Ms Bernadett SZÉL, Hungary, SOC ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD

There is a broad international debate in the world today about whether major international sport events are supporting or stalling developments in the fields of democracy, human rights and the fight against corruption. The debate has been sparked in the light of world-level sport events such as the forthcoming ice hockey World championship in Belarus in 2013. Such international sport events do have implications and an impact on democracy and human rights.

Many, especially international sports federations and the International Olympic Committee, stress that they do not like to take a political stand and that their activities are non-political. However, even if sport, as such, is non-political, the decisions made by the federations, i.e. where to locate international sport events and the way in which they follow up their decisions, have a huge political impact which can often lead to serious consequences.

Also, the manner in which the countries hosting these events are preparing and using them to make changes in their society needs to be scrutinized. It is clear that sometimes this leads to further violations of the human rights of their citizens and an expansion of corruption rather than the opposite. Sporting events have many times over the years been abused by the leaders in the host countries. Abuse of international sport events for State propaganda, violations of human rights and corruption should be stopped.

Matters relating to democracy, human rights, media freedom and corruption are at the heart of the Council of Europe’s work and the Parliamentary Assembly should therefore take a stand on this issue.