Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigners are celebrating, after the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Jordan dropped its contracts with notorious security company G4S, a long-standing target for its role in Israel’s systematic violations of human rights.
According to activists, four out of six United Nations agencies in Jordan have now dropped their contracts with G4S, with WFP joining UNHCR, UNICEF and UNOPS in ditching the international firm for local security service providers.
In parallel to the announcement by campaigners in Jordan, activists have revealed that UNICEF Lebanon has also dropped its contracts with G4S, following pressure from the BDS Movement, ‘The Lebanese Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel’ and ‘Camps Boycott in Lebanon’.
The #UNDropG4S campaign has been urging UN agencies globally to end their relationship with G4S. A delegation from Jordan BDS met with WFP representatives at their offices in Amman, and Jordanian NGOs wrote an open letter to UN agencies in Jordan in September, calling upon them to drop their contracts with the firm due to its complicity in human rights violations.
Kefah Adnan, member of the Jordan BDS movement, said: “We welcome WFP’s decision as a step in the right direction. UN agencies must stand on the right side of history and honour their commitment to human rights. Our campaign will continue until UN Women and UNDP, the only two remaining UN agencies with G4S contracts, follow suit.”
G4S confirmed last week the sale of its Israeli security business for £88 million. The company remains a BDS target, however, through its role in co-running the Israeli Police Academy and servicing Shikun & Binui group in illegal settlements.
Guman Mussa, Arab World Coordinator in the BNC, said: “We salute the efforts of BDS activists in Jordan and across the Arab World against occupation and mass incarceration profiteer G4S. The campaign against G4S in the region is intensifying from Kuwait to Lebanon to Morocco, and we shall not stop until G4S completely and fully withdraws from its remaining contracts with the Police Academy and the settlements.”