The UN has set up a database to help track these companies' activities – but it’s falling out of date. We’re campaigning to make sure that the UN has to keep an accurate record of these companies: you can add your name to the petition to support this action here.
The Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been built in violation of international law. Settlement activities involve enforced displacement of Palestinians, land confiscation, disruption to Palestinians’ livelihoods, restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement and the exploitation of natural resources.
Every day, thousands of Palestinian workers in the settlements face exploitation, with low wages - sometimes below the legal minimum wage - unsafe conditions and denial of their fundamental rights at work, including the right to organise and bargain collectively.
In 2020, after years of pressure from rights groups, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) published a database of 112 companies doing business in these illegal Israeli settlements. These businesses have, according to UN Resolution 31/36 “directly and indirectly enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the Israeli settlements”.
Businesses are included on this UN database because they have been involved in one or more specific activities listed in this resolution. They could be:
Supplying equipment or materials to build the settlements and the wall.
Providing surveillance and identification equipment for settlements, the wall or checkpoints.
Selling equipment for demolishing houses and property.
Providing services that support and maintain these settlements existence – in contravention of international law.
The TUC Congress, our democratic body has clear policy calling on trade unions to act.
In 2009, the TUC Congress agreed to support moves to divest from and boycott the goods of companies that profit from the illegal settlements, the occupation and the construction of the wall.
In 2010, TUC Congress democratically agreed to support a ban on importing goods produced in the illegal settlements in order to pressure the Israeli government, and work towards ending the occupation, dismantling the wall and removing the illegal settlements.
The UN Database is a vital tool to track the activities of companies that profit from the illegal settlements. That’s why the International Trade Union Confederation is running a campaign to ensure it’s kept up to date.
You can take action - add your name to the petition calling on Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to update the UN database of companies involved in the illegal settlements.
Corporate complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and violations of Palestinians’ human rights must be exposed and ended. There is no excuse.
Businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights and international law – wherever they operate.
The TUC, as part of the international trade union movement, supports justice for Palestinians, equality and respect for all Palestinian rights.
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