November 8, 2017 – The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), Access Now, Center for Constitutional Rights, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), CORE, Corporate Accountability Lab, FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), and Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER), sent a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (High Commissioner) today urging the prompt release of the database of all business enterprises involved in certain specified activities concerning the Israeli settlements that may have negative human rights impacts, as called for in UN Human Rights Council's (HRC) Resolution 31/36.
The HRC has stated that the military occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel qualifies as an armed conflict, noting that businesses operating in the settlements do so at increased risk of human rights abuses and in violation of international humanitarian law. As such, the database increases transparency as to which business entities may be running afoul of their human rights responsibilities by engaging in business activities in or with settlements. This information is crucial in assisting States in fulfilling their obligations under international law. It also enhances the ability of companies to better manage their human rights risks and allows the general public to make more informed choices concerning the impacts of their purchases and investments.
The release of the database has already been delayed from its original scheduled date of March 2017. The groups therefore call on the High Commissioner to promptly release the database, and ensure that it covers all business enterprises as mandated under the Resolution and is update annually going forward.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.