Document - Le Comité d'organisation des Jeux olympiques et paralympiques de Londres (LOCOG) n'a pas accepté de rencontrer des victimes et des groupes de la société civile comme Amnesty le demande
Index: EUR 45/008/2012
27 February 2012
London Organising Committee for the Olympics and Paralympics Games (LOCOG) fails to respond to Amnesty International’s request for a meeting with affected individuals and civil society groups
Amnesty International is deeply disappointed that the LOCOG has chosen not to respond to our request for a meeting with affected individuals and relevant civil society groups in relation to the 1984 Bhopal disaster and Dow Chemical Company’s (Dow) responsibilities for it.
On 13 January, Amnesty International wrote to Lord Coe, Chairman of LOCOG, concerning the selection of Dow to provide a fabric wrap for the London Olympic Stadium. This letter followed an exchange of correspondence initiated in October 2011 when we raised concerns and posed questions in relation to LOCOG’s decision to procure a fabric wrap from Dow. In response to these concerns, LOCOG justified its decision to procure the wrap from Dow and further asserted that Dow did not bear responsibility for the Bhopal disaster nor for its human rights legacy.
Amnesty International strongly disputes LOCOG’s position. We regret that the decision-making process followed by LOCOG in considering a deal with Dow failed to consult with Bhopal victims and survivors, as well as informed civil society groups, not least because of the negative public messaging such a deal could create.
We also deeply regret LOCOG’s refusal to admit that deficiencies and weaknesses in the procurement process and due diligence undertaken by LOCOG in awarding the contract to Dow may have existed, allowing for the deal to go ahead.
In July 2010 Dow was also given the status of official Olympic Partner by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In December 2011, the India Olympic Association (IOA) called on the IOC to terminate its sponsorship deal with Dow. Recently the IOC announced that it would not do so.
On 26 January 2012, Meredith Alexander, who sat on the board of the Commission for a Sustainable London, resigned over LOCOG’s deal with Dow.
The circumstances are all the more regretful today, when the UN Human Rights Council will be hosting a panel discussion in Geneva on “Promoting Awareness and Application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) through sport and the Olympic ideal.”
Amnesty International calls on LOCOG to:
1) Acknowledge that deficiencies in its ethical guidelines existed and had those deficiencies not exited, the decision on whether to procure the wrap from Dow would have been different;
2) Retract public statements it has made affirming that Dow is not responsible for the events of 1984 Bhopal Disaster and subsequent contamination;
3) Apologize to the Bhopal survivors for the damage such statements caused them; and
4) Revise its ethical policy to develop more rigorous criteria for assessing corporate human rights issues.
Amnesty International has requested that LOCOG makes a balanced assessment about Dow’s responsibility in relation to the Bhopal disaster and ongoing contamination rather than simply re-stating Dow’s own position that it bears no responsibility in this matter.
Amnesty International will be seeking an opportunity to make this point to the UN Panel on Sport and Human Rights today.
We will ask the panellists to consider the following:
Should not the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and National Olympic Committees take measures to conduct fair, transparent, balanced and full due diligence with respect to the human rights performance of the companies with which they choose to partner?
The association of Dow with the IOC and LOCOG demonstrate that much more rigorous screening and due diligence processes are needed on the part of the IOC and National Olympic Committees to ensure the standard of excellence that the Olympic and Paralympic Games have come to symbolise are adhered to in practice.
In 1984 a toxic gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, killed between 7,000 and 10,000 people immediately and another 15,000 over the next 20 years.
The Bhopal site is still contaminated today, detrimentally affecting over 100,000 persons’ human rights to health, water, housing and an adequate standard of living.
Since 2001 Dow Chemical Company has been the sole owner of US-based Union Carbide, the majority shareholder in Union Carbide India, which owned and operated the Bhopal factory at the time of the disaster.
Dow has never addressed the ongoing human rights impacts of the Bhopal catastrophe, and has consistently denied any responsibility for Union Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal.
IOC announced its refusal on 16 February 2012.
The 19th Session of the Human Rights Council is holding a high level panel discussion to discuss ways in which sport and major sporting events can be used to promote awareness, understanding and the application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. HYPERLINK "http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/19session/" http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/19session/