The International Trade Union Confederation has issued a report on Beijing 2022 ©ITUC

China should be awarded a "gold medal for repression", a global trade union body has claimed in a report criticising Beijing 2022 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for failing to address human rights abuses in the country.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) outlines "five rings of repression" that the organisation says are "strangling freedom and rights for many millions of people" in the upcoming Winter Olympic and Paralympic host nation.

Forced labour, "repression and exploitation of ethnic minorities", intimidation of LGBT+ people, and trade unionists and democracy defenders in Hong Kong being jailed are among the alleged abuses.

The Belgium-based ITUC makes four demands of the IOC prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics on February 4, including calling on the IOC to "guarantee the security and safety of athletes and all others who will be attending" the Games.

The ITUC has also urged global sponsors to "review their association" with Beijing 2022.

"How can the IOC and its partners be sure that the Winter Olympics will not contribute to oppression and human rights violations and that athletes, their teams, journalists and others attending them are protected in a country ruled by this party?" the ITUC asks in the opening of the report.

Human rights protests have been common in the lead-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images
Human rights protests have been common in the lead-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Criticism over China's human rights record, an alleged "genocide" of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and its treatment of Tibet and Hong Kong have dominated the build-up to Beijing 2022.

China has been accused of crimes including using forced Uyghur labour, operating a mass surveillance programme, detaining thousands in internment camps, carrying out forced sterilisations and intentionally destroying Uyghur heritage.

Beijing has denied the allegations, claiming the camps are training centres designed to stamp out Islamist extremism and separatism.

The IOC has refused to reference Uyghur Muslims by name, even when asked direct questions, and IOC President Thomas Bach previously said the organisation is not a "super world Government".

"We have to keep that neutrality," Juan Antonio Samaranch, chairman of the IOC's Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022, said in response to the report. 

"It is too precious what we are trying to defend.

"We are what we are, and we can do what we can do."

Countries including the United States are set to implement a diplomatic boycott of the Games because of the alleged human rights abuses.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held from February 4 to 20, with the Paralympics due to follow between March 4 and 13.