17 th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON OLYMPIC STUDIES FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS, 2009 July Professor Andy Miah, PhD University of the West of Scotland, UK Applied Ethics & the Olympic Movement Lecture 5 of 5 HUMAN RIGHTS & THE OLYMPICS
Questions about bodily integrity and freedoms lead naturally into discussions about human rights. This particular articulation of social responsibility is enshrined within the Olympic Charter, but the politicization of rights as a form of global governance limits their ability to flourish as an explicit articulation of Olympism. This lecture explores a range of questions associated with human rights, asking whether the philosophy of Olympism extends to the political project of human rights promotion.
The principle of human dignity signifies that the human beings have a special position that places them over the natural and biological position in nature. As a moral being and because of its status as a human being the notion of ‘dignitas’ is contributed to its intrinsic value and place in the world. From the beginning it emphasized this out-standing position of the human being in the universe.
“ Like the Olympic Games themselves, the impact of this resolution goes beyond borders. Beyond religion. Beyond cultures and languages. Beyond politics. Through sport and the values it represents, we can all make a winning difference and inspire a peaceful society that preserves and nurtures human dignity.”
United Nations General Assembly, 31 October, 2007 ‘Sport for Peace: Winning the Difference’
Human Rights as Contested Ideological Space What are human rights? How are human rights upheld? How does the concept apply differently across the world? When did this concept emerge?
‘ was I taking something away from them and their Olympic experience? And, as I answered the questions about the fact that I was going to do something, I had to qualify the reasons why I was going to do it. In the end my teammates were in full support. The Federation for Canoeing in Canada was in full support. The International Federation for Canoeing was in support. It was not a shock for anybody and it was well advertised by the media that something was going to happen that was very special.’
“Nobody loses when one expresses something personally. Nobody loses. Not a country, not a team, but in fact it provides even a broader recognition of who that person is, the place they came from and why they are competing for their team” Alwyn Morris 2000 .
Is the Olympic Truce a Human Rights Promotion Project?
When the Olympics arrives in your country consider the following: If Olympism consists of a valued ideology, then is it reasonable that a nation commits to it for only 5 years of Games time preparation? Which people who are organizing your Games will continue their commitment to the Olympic ideals - as a humanitarian movement - in the years that follow your Games? Our job is to hold these people to account, for longer than they expected!