Daily Brief logo

Good morning, this is Pip, and as the Olympic Games get underway in Tokyo, we’re hearing why it’s high time the world of mega-sporting events faces up to its human rights obligations.

Staying in Tokyo, our eyes turn to the Refugee Olympic Team, which came close to winning its first ever Olympic medal.

Moving west, we’re also looking at the pitfalls of reporting on rights abuses in Xinjiang in China.

photo journaliste

Pip Cook


Peace and Humanitarian News

Photo article

A demonstrator protests against Tokyo hosting the Olympic Games. (EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA)

🏅Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games puts sports and human rights in the spotlight. The Olympic Games finally kicked off in Tokyo on Friday after months of heated debate over whether the host country Japan would go ahead with the event in the face of rising Covid-19 cases or postpone for yet another year. Although the majority of criticism surrounding the games has been focused on the pandemic, the host country’s human rights record has come under scrutiny like previous games, as has that of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Is sports’ long-overdue human rights reckoning finally here?

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🔍Suppression of the Uyghurs: let’s stick to the facts. Too many articles on Xinjiang are imprecise, politicized or one-sided, and let complicit parties off the hook rather than improve the situation of Uyghurs, writes Rune Steenberg, a Danish anthropologist specialising in the region. He argues for an “unbiased and comparative, global analysis of all the contributing factors to this human rights catastrophe”.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

Competing with the Refugee Olympic Team, Kimia Alizadeh (in red) lost the bronze medal to Turkey’s Hatice Kubra in women’s -57kg taekwondo, on Sunday 25 July. (Credits:EPA/RUNGROJ YONGRIT)

🥋Refugee Olympic team comes close to clinching first medal. Iranian taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh, who emigrated to Germany in 2020, came three points short of reiterating her Rio exploit, where she had won the bronze medal. The Refugee Olympic Team was formed five years ago, in the midst of the global refugee crisis, by the International Olympic Committee in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. This year, 29 displaced athletes from 11 countries were selected for the Tokyo 2020 team.

AP News (EN)

Number of the day

Photo article

A pro-Palestine protester waves a Palestinian flag. Image credit: EPA / Bilawal Arbab

🕵️Three UN investigators in Palestine. Former UN rights chief Navi Pillay has been named as leader of the UN’s inquiry into “systemic” abuses in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories following the latest eruption of violence in May. The three-person investigation has been mandated by the Human Rights Council to scrutinise abuses and their “root causes" in the decades-long Middle East conflict.

Al Jazeera (EN)

Next on the agenda

📌 11-12 August | Data protection for humanitarian agencies. This symposium, organised in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society & the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, will discuss the challenges faced by humanitarian agencies in the application of data protection principles.


📌 12 August | Gender & development Q&A. Are you a working professional looking to master the analytical and implementation tools of gender studies? This presentation of the Graduate Institute’s executive programmes has the answers to all your questions.

Graduate Institute (EN)

GS news is a new media project covering the world of international cooperation and development. Don’t hesitate to forward our newsletter!

Have a good day!

Avenue du Bouchet 2
1209 Genève