40 Rights Groups Urge Sochi Corporate Sponsors to Speak Out Against Anti-LGBT Violence in Russia
January 31, 2014 by Charlie Joughin
Today 40 of the world’s leading human rights and LGBT groups, including HRC, wrote a letter to all of the leading sponsors of the Sochi Olympics asking them to urge Russia to halt the rising tide of discrimination, harassment and threats against LGBT people.
The joint letter is addressed to the 10 TOP Sponsors of the Sochi Games (members of “The Olympic Partner” (TOP) Program)--Atos, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, General Electric, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, and Visa. HRC, Human Rights Watch and several other groups have engaged with the sponsors for nearly a year to urge them to act on abuses.
We're calling on the Olympic sponsors to take four specific actions:
- Individually and/or collectively, condemn Russia’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law, which clearly violates the Sixth Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Charter (“Any form of discrimination… is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement”);
- Use their Olympics-related marketing and advertising – both domestically and internationally – to promote equality;
- Ask the International Olympic Committee to create a body or other mechanism to prevent serious Olympics-related human rights abuses in host countries and to monitor those that do occur; and
- Urge the IOC to ensure that future Olympic host countries comply with their commitment to uphold the Olympic Charter, including the principles of non-discrimination and media freedom.
To view the joint letter to the corporate sponsors of the Sochi Olympics, please visit: http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/OlympicSponsors_02062014.pdf
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