UN High Commissioner Must Release Database Into Business Activities in Settlements

More than 90 organizations call for action

High Commissioner for Human Rights

Palais Wilson – United Nations

Geneva, Switzerland


March 18, 2019


Re: Release of the UN database on business activities in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory in the current Human Rights Council session


Dear Ms. Bachelet,

The undersigned organizations are writing to express deep concern at the recent letter you wrote to the President of the Human Rights Council ('the Council') seeking further delay in fulfillment of the UN Human Rights Council mandate in resolution 31/36 to “produce a database of all business enterprises involved” in Israeli settlements.   

We note that Council resolution 31/36, which established the mandate for your Office to produce the database, requested that it “be updated annually, and [for your Office] to transmit the data therein in the form of a report to the Council at its thirty-fourth session.”   Continued delay in releasing the database would inhibit the Council’s ability to provide transparency to the Palestinian people, all member-states, as well as investors that require authoritative sources of data on which to make sound investment decisions.

Additional delay also does a great disservice to the work of the Council’s independent fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the human rights of the Palestinian people. The findings of the fact-finding mission were the foundation of resolution 31/36, and the Council’s request to your Office to produce the database.  We recall that the fact-finding mission’s report found that “the existence of the settlements has had a heavy toll on the rights of the Palestinians. Their rights to freedom of self-determination, non-discrimination, freedom of movement, equality, due process, fair trial, not to be arbitrarily detained, liberty and security of person, freedom of expression, freedom of access to places of worship, education, water, housing, adequate standard of living, property, access to natural resources and effective remedy are being violated consistently and on a daily basis.” Furthermore, and particularly pertinent in the context of the database, the international fact-finding mission also highlighted that “some private entities have enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements, either directly or indirectly.”

For your office to now further delay release of the database would severely undermine the coming to fruition of long-awaited measure of transparency regarding business activities – activities that the Council has already established help maintain and perpetuate illegal settlements.  In addition to serving as a practical tool to end business support for illegal settlements, the database will also constitute an important example of a measure for advancing normative clarity around the responsibilities of businesses operating in other areas under occupation.

Your role as High Commissioner is pivotal in realizing human rights, even in the most challenging of situations and locations.  We urge you now to exercise your notable experience in diplomacy and political leadership to ensure that there is no further delay in releasing the database. In doing so, you will be working to support the long-standing efforts to end the ongoing human rights violations that Palestinians experience every day.

Yours sincerely,


  1. ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
  2. African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA)
  3. Al Haq
  4. Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
  5. Aldameer Association for Human Rights
  6. Al-Nakba Awareness Project
  7. ALTSEAN-Burma
  8. American Friends Service Committee
  9. Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
  10. Amigos de la Tierra América Latina y Caribe
  11. Amnesty International USA
  12. Arab American Association of Central Virginia
  13. Atlanta Jewish Voice for Peace
  14. Azzad Asset Management
  15. BADIL Resource Center For Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
  16. BDS-LA for Justce in Plaestinf
  17. Biosocial Research Foundation
  18. Broederlijk Delen
  19. Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO)
  20. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  21. CCFD - Terre Solidaire
  22. Center for Constitutional Rights
  23. Centre de Recherche sur l'Environnement, la Démocratie et des Droits de l'Homme
  24. Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  25. Chico Palestine Action Group
  26. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
  27. CIDSE
  28. Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida
  29. Committee for Palestinian Rights (Howard County, Maryland)
  30. Corporate Accountability Lab
  31. Corvallis Palestine Solidarity
  32. DCI - Defense for Children International - Palestine
  33. Delawareans for Palestinian human Rights (DelPHR)
  34. Dynamique des Femmes des Mines
  35. Endorois Welfare Council
  36. Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Netowrk
  37. Freedom Forward
  38. Friends of Palestine WI
  39. Friends of the Earth International
  40. Green Mountain Solidarity With Palestine
  41. Hurryyat - Center for Defense of Liberties and Human Rights
  42. International Federation for Human Rights- FIDH
  43. Israel Palestine Mission Network Presbyterian Church PC(USA)
  44. Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center
  45. Jewish Voice for Peace - Bay Area
  46. Jewish Voice for Peace Boston
  47. Jewish Voice for Peace KC
  48. Jewish Voice for Peace, member of Bay Area chapter
  49. Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
  50. Keep Hope Alive Bay Area
  51. LA Jews for Peace
  52. Labor for Palestine
  53. Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
  54. Maine Voices for Palestilnian Rights
  55. Middle East Children's Alliance
  56. MN Break the Bonds
  57. Mutinta Hadunka
  58. N.H. Veterans for Peace
  59. National Students for Justice in Palestine
  60. Observatoire d'etudes et d'appui a la responsabilite sociale et environnementale ( OEARSE )
  61. Observatorio Ciudadano
  62. Otros Mundos AC
  63. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
  64. Palestinian American Community Center
  65. Palestinian Center for Human Rights
  66. Palestinian Rights Committee of Upper Hudson Peace Action
  67. Pax Christi International
  68. People for Palestinian - Israeli Justice
  69. Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine - Platfom of French NGO's for Palestine
  70. Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)
  71. Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice
  72. Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
  73. REDES-Amigos de la Tierra (FoE) Uruguay
  74. Richmonders for Peace in Israel-Palestine
  75. Sacramento Area Peace Action
  76. Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights
  77. Santa feans for justice in Palestine
  78. Society for International Development (SID)
  79. Spokane Veterans For Peace Chapter #035
  80. Students for Justice in Palestine at UTSA
  81. The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
  82. The Independent Commission for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office)
  83. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights
  84. Trócaire
  85. U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
  86. United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
  87. United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Nitwotk
  88. United Methodist Upper NY AC Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel
  89. United Methodists for Kairos Response
  90. United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force
  91. University United Methodist Church
  92. USA Palestine Mental Health Network
  93. WESPAC Foundation, Inc
  94. Women Against Military Madness
  95. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
  96. WoMin African Alliance


Last modified 

March 19, 2019