Orange in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: the company should recognize its responsibility, the State shareholder should halt its support of Israeli settlements

On the day of the annual meeting of Orange shareholders, 27 May 2015, civil society organisations (NGOs and unions) [1] urge the company and the French State, a shareholder in the group, to intervene and put a halt to human rights violations to which they would be contributing indirectly through their business relations with Partner, an Israeli telecommunications company which operates in the Israeli settlements that are located in settlements located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and that are considered illegal by the international community.

Following the 6 May publication of a report entitled “Orange’s Dangerous liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, AFPS, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, CGT, FIDH, LDH, Solidaires and the Collectif national pour une paix juste et durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens (CNPJDPI) were pleased that on 26 May 2015, they were finally able to meet with Orange. They noted the fact that Orange recognises that having business relations with Partner poses risks to the company’s reputation. The representative of Orange recalled that an amendment was made in March 2015 to the brand-licensing agreement that would allow it to terminate the agreement in ten years. The civil society groups did not feel that this response was satisfactory. Nonetheless, the authors of the report asked Orange to publicly and explicitly state its decision to disengage and to denounce the human rights violations that Partner is involved in in Israeli settlements in the OPT.

Civil society organisations wrote again on 7 May 2015 to the French State Holdings Agency (APE), to BPI and to the government to stress the inconsistency between the French diplomatic position and the practices of the State as a shareholder in this affair. The French State must respect its international human rights obligations and demand that Partner put an end to its activities in the settlements. If Partner does not do so, Orange should terminate its business relationship with Partner. Until now, these appeals have not been answered.

A shareholder submitted a question in writing requesting that the termination of the contract with Partner be put on the agenda of the annual general meeting of Orange this afternoon.

Read the report: “Orange’s Dangerous liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”

Read more