The gloss and spectacle of mega sporting events can hide many potential threats to human rights and equality. Today, on International Migrants Day, we are reminded of one of the starkest examples of this: the pattern of exploitation of migrant workers that has cast a shadow over the preparations for global sports events in recent years. In September 2013, reports emerged of brutality and forced labour in Qatar, which is preparing for the World Cup in 2022. This is one of many instances of exploitation around such events that extend beyond the appalling denial of employment rights. These include the displacement of people from their homes (as witnessed in Rio’s favelas in the preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil), unfulfilled promises to create jobs and affordable housing, environmental damage and harassment of working class, black or migrant communities by security officials, enforcement officers and police.
During the 2012 Olympics, Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) set up a human rights observation project in an attempt to monitor, record and challenge any detrimental impact on or targeting of local communities in east London. Today we publish a report setting out in detail how one of the UK’s longest-established civil rights organisations deployed close to a hundred ‘community legal observers’ (CLOs) during last summer’s Olympics, what these volunteers witnessed and how the experience of monitoring street level policing during such a major event can help other organisations, both in the UK and abroad, to consider using community legal observers in the future.
‘Monitoring Olympics policing during the 2012 Security Games’ is available online here or to download here [PDF, 1.1 Mb] Read more
Last Saturday evening, Newham Monitoring Project celebrated the fantastic work undertaken by our Community Legal Observers (CLO) during this summer’s Olympics, with an event at The Arches near Star Lane in Canning Town. Read more
Newham Monitoring Project has now received a response to the complaint we made to Newham council, regarding the behaviour of security guards at Stratford Park and the decision to ban our Community Legal Observers from entering. Read more
A group of Newham Monitoring Project Community Legal Observer volunteers were today “banned” from entering Stratford Park, a site open to the general public who wish to watch the free Olympic livescreens, by security on the ground who apparently accused them of “making it easy for criminals and giving them tips” when giving out Stop and Search rights-information cards to members of the public. Read more
Last night, some of Newham Monitoring Project’s 100+ Community Legal Observers (CLOs), who will patrol the streets during this summer’s Olympics to gather evidence of the misuse of police powers and provide legal rights information, met up in Stratford to launch our new initiative.After a photo-call near Theatre Royal Stratford East, CLOs n their distinctive red tabards headed over to Stratford station to hand out NMP’s new stop and search rights card.
Teams of CLOs will start patrolling this weekend, focusing on the communities close to Olympic venues in both the north and south of the borough. Shifts have been arranged for the whole of the next six weeks. Read more