A senior official said Wednesday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has few options to press China on its human rights record ahead of the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.
“The IOC’s remit is to ensure that there is no human rights abuses in respect of the conduct of the games within the National Olympic Committee, or within the Olympic movement,” IOC Vice President John Coates said at a press conference, The Washington Post reported.
“We have no ability to go into a country and tell them what to do. ... We are not a world government,” Coates added.
The remarks come as there have been rising international calls to boycott the games due to China’s human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups.
China has been accused of sending Uyghurs to work camps, sterilizing them and subjecting them to torture, moves the U.S. and others have labeled as genocide. Beijing has denied any wrongdoing.
Coates was also asked why the Olympic committee wouldn’t take a stand against China as they work during the Afghanistan withdrawal to get athletes to safety, according to the Post.
“The work the IOC is doing is to protect the Olympians and those involved in the Olympic moments, those who comprise the sports federation in Afghanistan — that’s within our remit,” Coates said.
Calls for boycotts have come from top officials in the U.S., with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Navy probe reveals disastrous ship fire response GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Calif.) previously saying there should be a diplomatic boycott of the games.
International spectators have already been banned from attending the Games, which are set to start in February.