|The global security firm, G4S, has been found to be in violation of its human rights obligations under guidelines issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).The finding comes less than a week after a chaotic G4S annual general meeting was taken over by campaigners for Palestinian human rights demanding an end to the company’s contracts with the Israeli army, police and prison service.Today’s indictment of G4S relates to its Israeli contracts and comes from the UK National Contact Point (NCP), which is incorporated in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “Last week I, along with other campaigners and shareholders, attended the G4S AGM and listened to the claims of its Chief Executive that G4S was complying with human rights guidelines.
“Today those claims have been blown out of the water with this landmark ruling from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.”
The NCP’s ruling is in response to a human rights complaint submitted by UK legal charity, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, and comes at the end of a year-long detailed investigation.
Among the NCP’s findings is that G4S is not complying with OECD guidelines to “respect the internationally recognised human rights of those affected by their activities” in Israel and Palestine.
The NCP also ruled that G4S was failing in its obligations under the OECD guidelines by not seeking “ways to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their business operations” in Israel and Palestine.
G4S has contracts with the Israel Prison Service to install and maintain security systems at prisons within Israel and in the West Bank where Palestinians, including children are incarcerated, many without charge or trial, and are often tortured.
It also contracts with the Israeli military to service and maintain baggage scanning equipment and metal detectors to checkpoints in the West Bank, some of which are incorporated into the Separation Wall, and which severely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement.
Lanning said: “The NCP has recommended that G4S takes action to bring it into compliance with its human rights obligations under the OECD guidelines.
“However, G4S’ complicity with the human rights violations being carried out by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people will not end until it finally terminates its Israeli contracts.
“All companies should take note of today’s ruling and be aware of the toxicity of entering into contracts with an Israeli state that refuses to abide by international law and which systematically violates Palestinian human rights.”
Notes for the Editor
This media release was sent to national and international media on 9 June 2015