FIDH urges the High Commissioner to prioritize the publication of the UN Database on Business Entreprises with Activities Related to Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and commit to a final date for publishing the report

Press release

On March 5, 2019, the UN High Commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet postponed the publication of the Database of companies operating in the Israeli settlements, noting that the report would be finalised “in the coming months.”

While FIDH acknowledges the progress made in establishing the Database in line with Resolution 31/36 of March 2016 of the Human Rights Council, it also urges the High Commissioner to commit to a final date for publishing the report, originally mandated to be presented to the Council in March 2017

Conducting business and trade with Israeli settlements contributes to pervasive and devastating human rights violations against millions of Palestinians. Companies which conduct business with the settlements contribute, directly and indirectly, to violations of the principle of non-discrimination and equality, international humanitarian and human rights law principles.

In addition to marking a crucial normative development in international law on business and human rights, the Database could also have a deterrent effect for business activities in the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and other conflict-affected areas. Yet almost three years after the adoption of resolution 31/36, the results of the process are not being transmitted in a timely and transparent manner, hindering and undermining the realisation of the mandate set out for the Database.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has already recognized the pivotal role businesses have in perpetuating the settlements enterprise, and, consequently, the human rights violations that arise from it.
FIDH therefore notes that urther delays would only serve to entrench corporate involvement in maintaining and expanding illegal Israeli settlements. This state of affairs detrimentally affects the lives of millions of Palestinians. Considering the international legal consensus concerning the illegal nature of the settlements, it will also undermine the important work done by OHCHR and others, including members of civil society, in promoting state and business compliance with international law obligations.

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