EU Labelling of Israeli Settlement Products: one step in the right direction

On 11 November 2015, the European Commission adopted an interpretative notice on the indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the West Bank – including East Jerusalem-, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

FIDH, its member organisations Al Haq, PCHR, Ligue des droits de l’Homme (France), Ligue des droits de l’Homme (Belgium) and partner organisation in the occupied Syrian Golan welcome this decision as a step in the right direction. We nevertheless call on the EU to take additional measures to ensure the end of the colonisation and occupation of the Occupied Territories, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.

This notice essentially aims to ensure that EU member States respect existing labelling requirements and correctly indicate the origin of goods produced in the settlements. This decision is in line with EU’s recognition that the settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace. Our organisations call for a proper and full implementation of the notice.

Ultimately, European consumers should not bear the responsibility of deciding whether or not they would like to support illegal settlements through the purchase of goods and products. In accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law, our organisations call on the EU to take additional measures in order to prohibit the import of settlement products in the EU market. Furthermore, the EU should take immediate and appropriate measures to end all economic and commercial trade with the Israeli settlements, and to dissuade businesses from investing, maintaining and benefiting from economic relations with the Israeli settlements.

Backgroud information
FIDH and its member organisations in France and Belgium support the “Made in Illegality” campaign. The campaign – based on States’ international obligations – calls on EU member states to end all economic relations with the Israeli settlements.
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