March 1, 2017
Sarah Schmidt Erickson, J.D.
The International Olympic Committee has revised its host city contract to include additional human rights-based responsibilities. The new terms aim to ensure that host countries comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UNGP includes anti-corruption measures, two prevalent issues in recent Olympics. The new contract will take effect for the 2024 Olympic Games.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called the disregard for human rights a “disease that is spreading.” In his recent address to the UN Human Rights Council, Guterres stressed that leaders of the world’s governments need to champion human rights in an “impartial way” that improves human rights for all.
On February 24, an anti-immigration group in South Africa initiated a protest in opposition to foreign nationals, claiming that immigrants are stealing jobs and are responsible for alleged increases in crime. While the protest started out peacefully, it quickly turned violent in the face of the group’s xenophobic rhetoric. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, who has been working to keep his country from withdrawing from that International Criminal Court, condemned the violence.
On February 21, the Trump administration announced its plans to revoke protections instituted by President Obama that banned discrimination against transgender students, including their ability to use whichever bathroom aligns with their non-birth gender. The announcement was met with immediate backlash from human rights groups and the general population.