On the Human Rights Function of the Olympic Movement
July 30,2022   By:CSHRS
On the Human Rights Function of the Olympic Movement
LAN Wei*
Abstract: The Olympic Movement is an essential contemporary international social movement with a unique ability to transform and promote the human rights.This human rights function of the Olympic Movement is mainly reflected in two aspects: First, the Olympic Movement accelerates the dissemination of the basic concepts and values of human rights and helps build a broader consensus in a wider field; second, the Olympic Movement expands and enriches the rights system of human rights. It has greatly contributed to realizing individual human rights and collective human rights both inside and outside the Olympic field. The human rights function of the Olympics needs be correctly understood and rationally utilized to maximize its effectiveness in promoting the development of and guaranteeing the realization of human rights.
Keywords: Olympic movement · human rights · human rights function
The Olympic Movement has developed into a major global and sustainable social and cultural activity. It embodies the achievements of human society in terms of ideals, culture, science, and technology, as well as being a great social practice that attracts extensive attention and the participation of people from all over the world. The appeal and cohesion of the Olympic Movement lie not only in the Olympic Spirit and the pursuit of the physical limits of mankind but also in the tremendous and sui generis influence it has on society, politics, economy, education, and culture. In particular, its emphasis on equality for all in the realm of sports. The modern Olympic Movement has played a significant role in demonstrating and promoting human rights concepts such as freedom, equality, and justice, as well as in the continuous expansion, protection, and realization of human rights, showing its unique human rights function.
I. The Human Rights Function of the Olympic Movement
Human rights are the crystallization of social and historical development. The philosophies and institutions of human rights epitomize the fruits of civilizational progress. They are mighty weapons for the weak against the powerful in human society. Generally speaking, human rights are the rights that, based on human dignity,everyone should enjoy, because they are fundamental to their survival and development. Human rights are mainly embodied in the most universal and equal rights, the rights enjoyed by human beings based on their inherent equal dignity, and a system of rights with inherent interdependence.1 To be specific, human rights are the rights of everyone that are enjoyed or should be enjoyed by all. They have two connotations: One refers to rights, namely different rights, covering the right to life, the right to freedom, the right of person, and political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights, which are usually in the legal sense. The other refers to philosophies or principles, namely the rights that are enjoyed or should be enjoyed by all, which are composed of several judgments, propositions, or principles about how human and human society should treat people and respect people. This is usually called humanity. Therefore, the concept of human rights is composed of rights and humanity and is reflected in the integration of the two concepts.2
The Olympic Movement refers to a contemporary international social movement. Based on the Olympic Charter and with sports and quadrennial Olympic celebrations as the main activities, the Olympic Movement aims to educate youth by organizing sports activities that are free from discrimination and in line with the Olympic spirit and thus contribute to the building of a more peaceful and better world. The Olympic Movement is not limited to sports, nor is it only embodied in competitive competitions such as the Olympic Games. It is a kind of thought, theory, and movement about the all-round development of mankind, the perfection of humans, and the development of society beyond sports.3 Regarding the origin of the Olympic Movement, although the exact date of the first Olympic Games is not certain, an award ceremony in 776 BC officially marked the beginning of the Olympian era in ancient Greece.4 The establishment of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 marked the official birth of the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Games, which symbolize the ideals of ancient Greece, have become one of the major events in the world today.
Throughout its development history of over a century, the Olympic Movement, as one of the greatest social forces in the current era, has made unique contributions to the development and progress of human society with its huge and comprehensive social benefits. Specifically, with the rapid development of the Olympic Movement and its huge influence worldwide, the significance of the Olympics has gradually expanded, demonstrating a powerful ability to transform and promote the development of human society in politics, economy, culture, education, and so on. As Pierre de Coubertin said, sports reach all areas of life, including ethics, art, social order... Moreover, the demands of sports do not end there.5 Among them are the demands of sports for human rights. From the perspective of human rights, the development history of the Olympics is a history of the continuous expansion of human rights, protection of human rights, and realization of human rights by the Olympic Movement. According to the Olympic Charter, the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of mankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. It is stressed in the IOC Code of Ethics that respect for the universal fundamental ethical principles is the foundation of Olympism, which ensure in particular “respect for human dignity; rejection of discrimination of any kind on whatever grounds, be it race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other statuses; rejection of all forms of harassment and abuse, be it physical, professional or sexual, and any physical or mental injuries; and the participants’ conditions of safety, well-being and medical care favorable to their physical and mental equilibrium.”6 The role of sports in realizing and promoting social-related empowerment is also affirmed in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and young people, individuals, and communities as well as to health, education, and social inclusion objectives.”7
Therefore, it is certain that the Olympic Movement continues to play its role in promoting the development and progress of human rights in its unique way. It is the beneficial role the Olympic Movement plays in promoting human rights that is the human rights function of the Olympic Movement. Such a role is obvious in some respects while hidden or latent in others. In other words, attention has been paid to some aspects while others are neglected. All aspects should be highlighted and rationally used, as they confirm that the Olympic Movement continues to demonstrate an increasingly powerful human rights function and it plays a significant role in their development. For this, we will elaborate on the conductive role of the Olympic Movement in relation to the basic concepts of human rights and the human rights system. The conductive role of the Olympic Movement with regard to the three basic human rights concepts, namely freedom, equality, and justice, which are in line with the Olympic Spirit. The conductive role of the Olympic Movement with regard to the human rights system are discussed from the basic classification of individual human rights and collective human rights. In this paper, individual human rights are elaborated on in both a specific sense and a general sense. Taking specific groups such as athletes, women, the youth, and the disabled for example, such rights in close relation to the Olympic Movement as traditional rights to health, education, and labor are respectively exemplified. Collective human rights refer to rights that can only be exercis by collectives in the sense of “third-generation human rights”, that is, “rights to social solidarity” involving human survival and development. They are discussed from such typical collective human rights as the rights to peace, development, and environment.
II. Demonstration and Promotion of the Basic Human Rights Concepts by the Olympic Movement
A. Demonstration and promotion of the concept of freedom
In philosophy, freedom is the comprehension and control of necessity. The essence of human freedom lies in the fact that people consciously and purposefully dominate objects and themselves through their practical activities. The demonstration of human nature makes the continuous increase of human freedom. In sociology, freedom refers to a state of the relationship between people and society. It is the independent arrangement of behavior without oppression or control of others.8 The Olympic Movement regards freedom as its highest value pursuit from the very beginning and has never stopped the promotion of the realization of individual and even collective freedom in the course of its development. First, the Olympic Movement promotes individuals to achieve freedom beyond the limits. In his speech the Philosophical Basis of Modern Olympism, Pierre de Coubertin said that sportsmen need freedom beyond the limits, which is why they were given the motto: faster, higher, and stronger. The pursuit of faster, higher, and stronger is the motto of athletes who dare to challenge the record.9 This freedom beyond the limits is determined by the inherent value and function of sports. The essence of sports is the struggle of the participating subjects to consciously and continuously surpass the constraints of the physical body and achieve the state of complete freedom of the body. Second, the Olympic Movement promotes the freedom of individuals and groups to participate in the Olympic Movement. As early as 1919, Pierre de Coubertin asked how can sport be perfect if only a limited number of people are included? At the time, it was enough to have many people, but not today, it has to be accessible to the masses.10 He said that no excuse could exclude the masses from the Olympic Spirit. With the constant development of the modern Olympic Movement, the freedom of the masses to participate in sports has been enhanced. As recognized in the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, the practice of physical education, physical activity, and sport is a fundamental right for all and the right to participate in physical activity should be realized for all. It is affirmed in the Olympic Charter that the practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind, and in accordance with the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity, and fair play. Meanwhile, it is also recognized in the Olympic Charter that the Olympic Movement is open and the mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement.
B. Demonstration and promotion of the concept of equality
Equality means that all people, or at least all citizens of a country, or all members of a society, should have equal political and social status.11 Equality means that the same situation should be treated the same while different situations treated differently. According to Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. The Olympic Movement actively demonstrates and promotes the concept of equality. First, it promotes the right to equal participation in the Olympic Movement. From the very beginning of the resumption of the modern Olympic Movement, it has been emphasized that everyone can participate in sport equally, regardless of power, status and money. The equality advocated by the Olympic Movement requires formal equality of access to sports, the equality of the rules of sports, and the equality of sharing sports resources. More importantly, it focuses on substantive equality and procedural equality. Substantive equality requires assistance and differentiated treatment for those who have difficulty participating in the Olympic Movement or those who are in a disadvantaged position.Procedural equality enables the subjects participating in the Olympic Movement to initiate the equal protection relief mechanism through the request for equal protection to realize their right to sports. Secondly, it promotes the right to equal participation in Olympic affairs. For instance, with the continuous expansion of the IOC International Athletes Forum, athletes have the opportunity to express their opinions and participate in discussions on issues that may arise and decisions that directly affect them. In 2018, the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration was adopted at the 133rd IOC Session. In all, 4,292 athletes from 190 countries participated in the discussions. Such a historical document outlines a series of common rights and responsibilities of athletes in the Olympic Movement, which reflects the gradual realization of the athletes’ right to participate in Olympic affairs on an equal footing. Third, it promotes the right to be free from discrimination. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, discrimination should be regarded as an act of distinction, exclusion, restriction, or prejudice. The Olympic Movement established the fundamental principle that no one should be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, or political belief and made significant contributions to it, like promoting the right of women to be free from discrimination. In the history of a century, the modern Olympic Movement has continuously encouraged and supported women to participate in sports in various fields under the principle of equality between men and women, which successfully promoted women from being unable to participate in the Olympic Games to become the best in the Olympic sports arena. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, female athletes accounted for 42 percent of the total number of participating athletes. In the 2012 London Olympics, female athletes appeared in delegations such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Qatar for the first time. The proportion of female athletes participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics reached 48.8 percent. The 2024 Paris Olympics will realize the same number of male and female athletes. Meanwhile, women are increasingly involved in the management of international Olympic affairs. As of 2020, the number of female IOC members has reached 39, accounting for 37.5 percent of the total number of IOC members. In the IOC executive board, female representation accounted for 33.3 percent.12
C. Demonstration and promotion of the concept of justice
Justice is to ensure every member gets what he or she deserves through a fair and reasonable distribution of social roles within a certain social scope.13 As for what is deserved, it depends on the nature of the community, values, and institutions.14 John Stuart Mill proposed five forms of justice and the corresponding contents of rights: the justice of the law, meaning to respect and protect the legal rights of all; the justice of morality, meaning to uphold what everyone deserves according to their moral rights; the justice of retribution, meaning what everyone deserves for retribution; the justice of honesty, meaning to fulfill the contract and abide by the agreement; and the justice of selfless, meaning to treat all people as equals with equal protection of the rights of all people.15 The Olympic Movement Community tries to regulate the rights to law and morality of each subject, so that they can fulfill the Olympic contract, take responsibility for breach of contract, and promote equal and fair treatment. The right to impartial adjudication is a good example. In the 1970s and 1980s, international sports disputes became increasingly prominent. In 1984, the IOC announced the establishment of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is committed to impartially adjudicating sports disputes. Judge M’ Baye said at the inauguration ceremony that the CAS, like other international arbitration institutions, exercises the power of arbitration for sport. The request for resolving a dispute is arbitrary, yet once a case is brought to the CAS, its ruling is of binding force. To seek the impartiality of the ruling, the CAS consisted of 40 members appointed by the International Olympic Committee, the International Sports Federation, the national or regional Olympic Committee, and the President of the International Olympic Committee. Besides, the 10 arbitrators appointed by the IOC President must be elected outside the first three categories of organizations. In 1994, a brand-new institution, the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, replaced the IOC to exercise financial administration and supervision over the CAS to further separate the CAS from its close relationship with the IOC for greater impartiality. The new council of arbitration is composed of 20 senior jurists, including 16 from the Olympic family and 4 outside the Olympic family. The 20 jurists do not decide cases themselves but nominate a 150-member expert panel and supervise it.16 The ultimate goal of these reforms is to continuously enhance the independence of the CAS, promote the impartiality of its rulings, and protect the rights of members of the Olympic Community to truly obtain impartial adjudication.
III. Protection and Promotion of the Human Rights of Individuals by the Olympic Movement
Individual human rights are rights and freedoms that can only be enjoyed in the name and identity of an individual, covering mainly the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights necessary for the survival, development, and protection of the personality of individuals. In the course of its development, the Olympic Movement has always placed education, health, and labor in an important position, which greatly protected and promoted economic, social, and cultural rights such as the right to health, the right to education, and the right to labor.
A. Protection and promotion of the right to health
The right to health refers to the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. It is announced in the Constitution of the World Health Organization issued by the World Health Organization declared in 1946 that it is a fundamental right of every person to enjoy the highest possible standard of health, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, or economic and social conditions. The right to health includes not only the right of everyone to protect their health from interference and infringement but also the right of everyone to enjoy the health services and health conditions provided by countries and society. Sports are a cultural and educational activity to promote the harmonious development of physical and mental health of people through physical exercise. In the process of education, the scientific application of the form and means of physical exercise can improve health, enhance physical fitness, entertain the body and mind, promote communication, and enrich social and cultural life.17Therefore, the Olympic Movement has the function of promoting the highest standards of physical and mental health. Considering the responsibilities of the IOC under the Olympic Charter, the IOC effectively promotes the right to health of athletes through such measures as encouraging and supporting measures related to the medical care and health of athletes, promoting safe competition, protecting athletes from all forms of harassment and harm, protecting clean athletes and the integrity of sport by leading the fight against doping, and by taking action against all forms of manipulation of competitions and related corruption. Most notable of these are the efforts in the fight against doping in the Olympic Movement. Doping is greatly harmful to the health of athletes. There have even been cases of sudden death due to doping in the history of the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC controls the use of doping to the maximum extent through strict physical examinations, cancellation of competition results, and suspensions. Meanwhile, it maximizes the protection of the right to health of participating athletes by advocating and maintaining pure and healthy sports. In March 2021, the IOC mentioned in the closing report of the Olympic Agenda 2020 Summit that the Olympic Movement spent USD 260 million during an Olympiad to fight doping, with USD 136 million coming from the IOC. Based on the Olympic Agenda 2020, USD 60 million has been invested in the protection of pure athletes. Among them, the IOC has provided USD 30 million in funding to establish the International Testing Agency (ITA) to create a level playing field for all athletes, USD 20 million to set up the “Protection of Clean Athlete” fund, USD 10 million for education and publicity about manipulation of competitions and associated corruption, and USD 10 million for programs supporting new scientific approaches to anti-doping.18
B. Protection and promotion of the right to education
Physical education and education are inseparable. Such sages as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle had long proposed that the soundness of intelligence depends on physical education, physical education should take precedence over intellectual education, and the development of muscles is the basis of moral education. Since its revival, the Olympic Movement has always been centered on education, making efforts to incorporate competitive sports into education, combine sports with education, and incorporate it into human culture and daily life. The major purpose for Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the IOC, to revive the Olympic Movement was to promote education. He believed that, in general, most of the major problems in a country are ultimately education problems, especially for democratic countries, that for France, it would be the best policy to introduce sports activities in schools so that students can experience the unique vitality of the human as a living being, which will certainly be of great benefit.19 The IOC emphasized in the Final Declaration of the World Forum on Education Through Sport, held in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 2002, that one of the reasons for the major contributions of the Olympic Movement to social development is the emphasis on the value of education. The founder of the IOC, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, revived the Olympic Games of Antiquity to spread the sporting ideal and Olympic values, which were a new vision of youth education. Therefore, the Olympic Movement has made great contributions to the development of human society by taking education as its starting point and destination.20 Judging from the practice of the Olympic Movement, the IOC has been committed to actively carrying out Olympic education together with national and regional Olympic committees to ensure and promote the realization of the right to education in the Olympic field. For example, it has established national Olympic education committees and national Olympic academies, designed and implemented special plans for Olympic education, implemented Olympic education plans in schools of all types and levels, compiled Olympic textbooks for universities, middle schools, and primary schools, provided Olympic education courses for all kinds of personnel, given Olympic education to the public, and established Olympic museums and libraries, etc..
C. Protection and promotion of the right to labor
According to article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work, and to protection against unemployment. According to article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. According to article 2 of the Olympic Charter, sports organizations and public authorities are encouraged to do their utmost to safeguard the social and professional future of athletes. While protecting the right to the labor of athletes, the Olympic Movement has created a large number of employment opportunities to ensure and promote the realization of the right to the labor of the general public. For example, the Olympic Games, as the largest international sports event with the highest scale and the most extensive influence in the international community, require the construction of various large-scale sports competition venues, subways, highways, and other transportation facilities, as well as communication networks and other equipment during the preparation, which needs a lot of human and material resources. To a certain extent, the Olympic Games can create a large number of employment opportunities for the host country or host city and greatly relieve the pressure on the unemployed. For example, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games provided employment opportunities for 25,000 people, with an income of USD 490 million; the 1988 Seoul Olympics provided 34,000 jobs, especially in the manufacturing, construction, and service industries; the 1992 Barcelona Olympics added 80,000 job vacancies for the city; the 1996 Atlanta Olympics added 85,000 jobs in Georgia where it was organized, and the seven-year preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics created millions of jobs.21
IV. Protection and Promotion of Collective Human Rights by the Olympic Movement
A. Protection and promotion of the right to peace
Historically, the Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece as a product for peace. In ancient Greece, people felt disgusted at the continual war that was being waged and generally longed for a peaceful environment in which to recuperate. As a result, three city-states of ancient Greece reached an agreement to hold the Olympic Games every year between July and August in 776 BC. Hostilities would cease during this period, which is the reputed “Olympic Truce.” The “Olympic Truce” lasted for more than a thousand years, making the ancient Olympic Games a celebration of peace and friendship. This practice had a profound impact on the modern Olympic Games. As it is recorded in the history books, people fought constantly to expand their territories in ancient Greece, but during the competition, there was a truce. Both sides of the battle put down their weapons to applaud their competition and pay tribute to the gods.22 The original intention of Pierre de Coubertin’s commitment to the creation of the modern Olympic Games is that the Olympic Movement can continue to play the role of peace envoys in state relations. In his letter to international sports organizations in 1984, he wrote that the Olympic Games, under conditions adapted to the demands of modern life, would bring together the representatives of the nations of the world every four years, and it may be assumed that their peaceful and heroic competition would constitute the best internationalism.23 He also pointed out in the Ideal of Modern Olympics that we are convinced that sports will continue to grow and develop with the help of the revival of the Olympic Games and become the embodiment of nobility and perfection. Under its influence, young people around the world will love peace and respect life.24 In modern times, the Olympics have also become an ideal tool for resolving sensitive and difficult peace issues. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, the IOC realized the independence of Bohemia and Finland in sports through their special status. The two Koreas engaged in direct dialogue based on exploring the possibility of jointly forming a team to participate in the Olympic Games. South Africa returned to the Olympic family to show the abandonment of the political system of apartheid and was recognized by the international community.25 In contemporary times, the Olympics have played an irreplaceable role as well as a unique and excellent function in enhancing mutual trust between peoples of different countries, maintaining world peace, and effectively safeguarding and promoting people’s right to peace. In July 2021, the addition of the word “together”, after an en dash, to the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger” was approved at the 138th IOC Session in Tokyo, Japan. “Together” means a shared future for mankind. It is necessary to create a more peaceful environment with the attitude of together to jointly fight against unprecedented challenges like the pandemic.
B. Protection and promotion of the right to development
The so-called right to development is a fundamental right that all individuals and their collectives have the right to freely assert to the domestic and international communities to participate in, promote and enjoy the benefits of comprehensive economic, political, cultural, and social development. It is the right for equal development opportunities and to share the benefits of development.26 It is reaffirmed in the Declaration on the Right to Development of the UN that the right to development is an inalienable human right. First, the Olympic Movement highlights and protects the opportunities for each subject to participate in sports and realize their development. The Olympic Movement emphasizes the equality of the qualifications of sports participants. In other words, no matter whether they are from a developed or developing country, an urban or rural home, male or female, old or young, elite or commoner, champion or ordinary competitor, everyone has the right to equal participation in and enjoyment of the Olympic Movement. Second, based on the general equality of opportunities for sports development, the interests of the least beneficiaries and the opportunities of those with the least opportunities are increased through the “difference principle”, thus achieving “substantial” fairness through the redistribution of Olympic interests and resources. For example, the system for special social groups, namely those with insufficient sports rights, is redesigned. A most typical case is the International Paralympic Movement and the International Special Olympics. The International Paralympic Committee supports and encourages education and rehabilitation programs as well as promotional activities contributing to its goals, opposes discrimination against sports for the disabled, and endeavors to expand opportunities for the disabled to participate in sports and improve their performance. The mission of the Special Olympics Committee is to provide conditions and opportunities for children over the age of 8 and adults with various learning disabilities to participate in daily Olympic sports training and competition, provide people with intellectual disabilities with equal opportunities to participate in social life, and help them contribute to society and be accepted and respected by society. About 4,400 athletes from 170 countries and regions participated in the Tokyo Paralympics in August 2021 and 539 stood on the podium. Third, the Olympic Movement promotes the sharing of benefits in the development of sports, like the establishment of an Olympic team of refugee athletes. In 2016, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team which included 10 refugees from Syria, South Sudan, Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia participated in the Rio Olympic Games for the first time as a special team regardless of national borders. the expenses of the refugee athletes were covered by the IOC. For the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team included 29 athletes. Another example is the establishment of the Olympic Solidarity Fund, which is used to provide assistance for NOCs recognized by the IOC in developing the Olympic Movement, especially those most in need. All these measures reflect the commitment of the Olympic Movement to promote the sharing of benefits from the development of sports among disadvantaged groups.
C. Protection and promotion of the right to a healthy environment
The right to a healthy environment refers to the basic right of the subjects of environmental legal relations to enjoy a healthy and good living environment as well as the rational use of environmental resources. In other words, all subjects of environmental legal relations have the right to live and survive in an environment that is not polluted and destroyed to a certain extent and the right to use environmental resources to a certain extent. The environmental elements of the right to the environment include the natural environmental elements of the biosphere of the Earth and man-made environmental elements.27 The protection of the right to the environment is a major challenge for the IOC. It is pointed out in the Olympic Charter that the IOC encourages and supports a responsible concern for environmental issues, promotes the sustainable development of sports, and requires that the Olympic Games are held accordingly. The IOC takes active measures in various Olympic activities to reflect the protection of the right to the environment and regards it as an important principle and measurement index for the development of the Olympic Movement. “We have reformed the organization of the Olympic Games, making them more feasible and sustainable. Paris and Los Angeles are planning to use a record number of existing and temporary facilities: Paris expects to use 95 percent of existing or temporary venues, while for Los Angeles, no new permanent venues are needed at all. All upcoming Olympic Games have committed to being carbon neutral. Our commitment to sustainability is further reflected in our ambition to make both the IOC and the Olympic Games climate positive even before 2030.”28 Beijing took hosting a green Olympic Winter Games as the primary organizational principle. According to the Legacy Report of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: Beijing 2022 (Pre-Games), the preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics boosted the ecological and environmental protection efforts of the host city by facilitating the implementation of a series of projects and action plans. Efforts to control air pollution, desertification, and floods were enhanced, and the work of venue construction was characterized by ecological restoration and environmental improvement efforts. Consequently, the environmental quality of Beijing Zhangjiakou Region has seen an improvement, giving visibility to an example of integrated development of sports infrastructure and the natural environment. 29
V. Conclusion
From 1894 to the present, the Olympic Movement has continued to develop. In the process of its development, it has obtained an unprecedented ability to transform and promote the development of human society, including the ability to transform and promote human rights development, which is called the human rights function of the Olympic Movement. On the whole, the Olympic Movement has promoted the spreading of the basic concepts and values of human rights and facilitated the formation of broader consensus in a wider field. Meanwhile, the Olympic Movement has expanded and enriched the human rights system and contributed greatly to the realization of both individual and collective human rights. The human rights function of the Olympics shows that the Olympic Movement is committed to the enjoyment of dignity and the benefits of sports by people in daily life based on the fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and justice. It also shoulders the solemn responsibility to protect and improve the enjoyment of these rights. Confusion and abuse of the human rights function of the Olympic Movement, the use of human rights hegemony to interfere with the Olympic Movement, and the use of human rights excuses to arbitrarily obstruct the Olympic Movement should be resolutely opposed. Confusion and abuse of the human rights function of the Olympic Movement will not only seriously damage the Olympic Movement but also lead to a disaster for the cause of human rights, so it should be condemned and eliminated. In the current era, the importance of human rights and the need to protect them cannot be denied. The human rights function of the Olympic Movement shows that, as a major social and cultural activity with strong appeal, the Olympic Movement is playing an important and irreplaceable role in the history of human rights development and progress in its way. The human rights function of the Olympic Movement should be correctly understood and rationally used to maximize its role in promoting the development of human rights and guaranteeing the realization of human rights.
(Translated by HU Liang)
* LAN Wei ( 兰薇 ), Associate Professor, School of Marxism, Beijing Sport University.
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2. Xia Yong, Origin of the Concept of Human Rights — History and Philosophy of Rights (Beijing: China University of Political Science and Law Press, 2001), page IV.
3. Editing Group of Olympic Study, Olympic Study (Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2003), 2-3.
4. Francoise Inizan, History of the Olympic Movement, trans. Feng Gongji (Hangzhou: Zhejiang Education Publishing House, 1999), 4.
5. International Olympic Committee, Olympism: Selected Writings of Pierre de Coubertin, trans. Liu Hanquan and Zou Li, et al. (Beijing: People’s Sports Publishing House, 2008), 144.
6. International Olympic Committee, IOC Code of Ethics, Official Website of IOC, accessed September 10, 2021, https://stillmedab.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/Documents/Code-of-Ethics/Code -
7. United Nations General Assembly, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Official Website of the United Nations, accessed September 10, 2021, http://www.un.org/en/documents/treaty/files/A-RES-70-1.shtml.
8. Zhang Wenxian, Jurisprudence (Fifth Edition) (Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2018), 328.
9. United Nations General Assembly, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 239.
10. Ibid., 151.
11. Fredrich Engels, “Anti-Dühring”, in Marx/Engels Collected Works, vol. 3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1993), 444.
12. International Olympic Committee, Olympic Agenda 2020 Closing Report, Official Website of the IOC, accessed 10 September, 2021, https://stillmed.Olympics.com/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/IOC/What-We-Do/ Olympic-agenda/Olympic-Agenda-2020-Closing-report.pdf.
13. Yang Long, “Comparing Equality with Fairness, Justice, and Impartiality,” Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy 4 (2004): 149.
14. Milne, A.J.M., Human Rights and Human Diversity — An Essay in the Philosophy of Human Rights, trans. Xia Yong and Zhang Zhiming (Beijing: Encyclopedia of China Publishing House, 1995), 58.
15. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, on Liberty and Representative Government, trans.Tang Yue (Beijing: The Commercial Press, 1957), 57.
16. Huang Shixi, Research on Settlement Mechanism for International Sports Dispute (Wuhan: Wuhan University Press, 2007), 104.
17. Yang Tieli, Introduction to Sports (Beijing: People’s Sports Publishing House, 2014), 3.
18. International Olympic Committee, Olympic Agenda 2020 Closing Report, Official Website of the IOC, accessed 10 September, 2021, https://stillmed.Olympics.com/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/IOC/What-We-Do/ Olympic-agenda/Olympic-Agenda-2020-Closing-report.pdf.
19. United Nations General Assembly, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 45.
20. Luo Shiming and Cao Shouhe, Olympic Study (Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2016), 90.
21. Ibid., 211.
22. International Olympic Committee, IOC Code of Ethics, 6.
23. Pierre de Coubertin, Olympic Ideals: Selected Writings of Pierre de Coubertin, trans. Zhan Dangcong and Nong Qizhi, etc. (Beijing: Olympic Press, 1993), 45.
24. United Nations General Assembly, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 49.
25. International Olympic Committee, Olympism: Selected Writings of Pierre de Coubertin, 118.
26. Wang Xigen, Basic Human Rights in a Society Ruled by Law — Research on the Legal System of the Right to Development (Beijing: Publishing House of Chinese People’s Public Security University, 2002), 60.
27. Zhu Liyu and Ye Chuanxing, Human Rights Law (Beijing: China Renmin University Press, 2017), 286-287.
28. International Olympic Committee, Olympic Agenda 2020 Closing Report.
29. Fu Xiaowen and Tian Jie, “Legacy Report of Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 (PreGames) Released by Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games — Winter Olympics Legacy Benefits the People,” China Sports News, June 25, 2021.
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