Thursday, December 06, 2007

Human Rights Watch Slams Beijing Olympic Committee For 'Discrimination'

Medals For Beijing 2008

A US-based human rights group has slammed Beijing Olympic Committee for “discrimination” against individuals, especially women and for adopting "unfair hiring practices."

The sharp criticism from Human Rights Watch (HRW) came in the wake of reported remarks by a Committee's spokesperson that medal presenters must be female university students between the ages of 18 and 25 and must fit into the uniforms.

Stating that the Committee has "very clear conditions and demands," the spokesperson was quoted as saying they need to be of a height between 1.68 metres and 1.78 metres and they cannot be too fat.

But in a letter to the Committee, Human Rights Watch blasted the eligibility requirements as "discriminatory" and said they violate China's obligations as a party to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

"Gender, age and appearance requirements arbitrarily exclude individuals from jobs for which they are professionally qualified and constitute discrimination," said the letter sent to the Committee by Executive Director Asia Division Brad Adams.

The letter was released by HRW on Wednesday. Human Rights Watch is aware that similar requirements are often included in job advertisements in China, yet such discrimination rely on gender-based stereotypes and limits women and men's equal access to employment, including prestigious jobs such as presenting awards at the Olympics.

Referring the requirement that female presenters "must have a very clear understanding of the Olympic spirit and the Olympic movement", Adams said. "We submit that there is no better way for China to demonstrate its commitment to women's rights and Olympic values than to ban ads and comments that so blatantly discriminate, even before the Games open in Beijing on August 8, 2008."

In planning the Olympics, officials at the highest levels of government should publicly condemn discrimination rather than reinforce harmful stereotypes and unfair hiring practices, the letter said.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...between the ages of 18 and 25 and must fit into the uniforms"

This is also among the criteria for the posts of air stewardesses in most countries, including the US and Europe. So what's new?

1:18 PM GMT+8  

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