The ICJ today spoke at the Human Rights Council about the creation of a UN database of business enterprises involved in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Terrority (OPT).
The statement, delivered in general debate under item 7 of the Council agenda, read as follows:
“Regarding the Report on a Database of business enterprises involved in listed activities in the settlements on the Occupied Palestinian Territory (A/HRC/37/39), the ICJ recognizes that considerable progress has been made, but considers that the normative and methodological frameworks of the database would benefit from incorporating an analysis of corporate complicity under international law, in addition to the existing references to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The ICJ stresses that a transparent process and strong due process safeguards in relation to companies alleged to be involved are essential and notes the efforts of the OHCHR in this regard.
All States, including the home States of the companies involved, have a responsibility to prevent companies from operating in breach of international law. Businesses themselves should see the database as an opportunity to more proactively incorporate respect for human rights within their policies and operations.
The database should contribute to global efforts to hold all business enterprises accountable for their role in violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Indeed, the ICJ urges all States, including those that have supported the creation of this database, to support and give due attention to addressing the human rights impacts of businesses in their own territories as well as global operations of businesses for which they are the home State.”
Video of the statement is available here: