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Monday, 29 November 2021
Page: 11048

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (10:45): I rise to call for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. To go ahead with these games without formally registering our concerns about crimes against humanity occurring at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party sends a very strong message to the victims that we actually turn a blind eye to their suffering. So I, for one, will not turn a blind eye and will never forget their anguish. We, as a nation that respects human rights and dignity, must not let this happen.

In a few months time the best athletes in the world will converge on Beijing for the Winter Olympic Games and, whilst sport does unite us and brings out the best in humanity, it is also crucial that the world unites to respect the humanity of those who suffer human rights atrocities occurring at the hands of the CCP. We refused to turn a blind eye to the rapidly-deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong and the Tibet autonomous region. Tibet and the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region are where Tibetans, Uighurs and other minority groups are subject to widespread religious and cultural repression, forced labour, sterilisation, political indoctrination, arbitrary detention, torture and death. Make no mistake: the Tibetans, the Uighurs and other minority groups in those regions are victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and cultural genocide.

This is happening now. Whilst the International Olympic Committee has made it clear that it is not in the business of politics, the Olympic Charter's principles of solidarity and nondiscrimination are hard to reconcile with holding the 2022 games in a country whose government stands credibly accused of perpetrating crimes against humanity and genocide. We know what's going on and it would be a betrayal of our common humanity to stand in silence. So I say to the House and to members of the International Olympic Committee that the desire to stay above politics does not mean turning a blind eye to mass atrocity.

There's still time to urgently postpone the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and initiate an emergency search process for suitable replacement facilities outside China for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, to make a strong stand for human rights. There's time for us here in this country to register our protest against crimes against humanity. We must decline invitations for state officials to attend the games as long as Beijing remains the host, and discourage companies operating in Australia from acting as commercial sponsors for those games. We must work multilaterally with our allies through all available forums, including the Five Eyes alliance, to urge the IOC to move the games from Beijing to a suitable host outside China. I also urge individual athletes competing to think carefully about whether they should take part and consider a personal boycott should those games remain in China. Their boycott would possibly send the strongest message that human rights abuses are not okay in any part of the world.