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33 rights groups urge UN to publish names of settlement-linked businesses

Image of illegal Israeli settlement [File photo]
Illegal Israeli settlement [File photo]

More than 30 international and Palestinian human rights groups and organisations have urged the UN Human Rights Office to make public a list of companies linked to Israel’s illegal settlements.

In a joint letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the organisations welcomed January’s update by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on the work being done to produce a database of settlement-linked businesses.

The signatories then call on OHCHR “to release and list companies that have been duly screened and contacted, particularly those who have rejected the mandate of OHCHR in this regard and who have failed to respond within the 60-day timeframe.”

Signatories to the letter include Addameer, Amnesty International, DCI-Palestine, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Trocaire.

Read: Israel starts building homes at new illegal settlement in West Bank

According to a press release by signatory Al-Haq, “the letter further stresses on the need to accept the Database as a living mechanism that needs to be continually developed and provided adequate resources for that purpose.”

The letter stresses that the database would be an important precedent in ensuring “accountability for corporations involved in human rights abuses worldwide”, and “as a tool to encourage and assist states in bringing companies within their jurisdiction to comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights, international human rights and humanitarian law”.

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