WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following reports that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is refusing to meet with members from the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region, a group of civil society organizations and trade unions united to end state-sponsored forced labor and other egregious human rights abuses against people in Xinjiang. The coalition is asking the IOC to explain what steps it has taken to ensure official Olympic apparel has not been produced with forced labor after the IOC contracted with Anta Sports Products Ltd., a Chinese sportswear giant that uses cotton from Xinjiang, for the 2022 Olympic Games.
Just last year, the IOC released a 42-page report on the state of human rights within the IOC that included a recommendation for the IOC work with trade unions to identify and address human rights risks associated with the Olympic Games.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Why in the world does the IOC have someone in charge of human rights if they refuse to meet with human rights groups? Communist China is committing a genocide, putting Uyghurs into concentration camps and forcing them into slavery to pick cotton. The IOC should be able to definitively answer a simple question: Are Anta’s products, which will be used as the official IOC apparel for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, made with forced labor? If so, the IOC is 100% complicit in General Secretary Xi’s genocide. Over and over, when given the opportunity to stand for human rights, the IOC does nothing but cover-up for the Chinese Communist Party. The IOC has lost all credibility, and every freedom-loving country should do what Thomas Bach won’t. Stand up to General Secretary Xi and punish him for his genocide.”