The ITUC has launched a petition calling on the United Nations human rights chief to urgently update the two-year-old database of companies operating illegally in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.
11 February 2022, International Trade Union Confederation
In February 2020, the UN Human Rights Office published the database of enterprises, but it has not been updated and no group of experts has been appointed to oversee the process, despite resolution 31/36 requiring this.
ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “Birthdays are often a time for celebration, but not this one. The delay to update this database is unforgiveable, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, needs to prioritise getting this unstuck.”
The UN Human Rights Council is meeting 28 February, and the ITUC is demanding that the database be top of the agenda.
“This database is too important to be left to gather dust. The UN says it is for exposing the companies that, directly and indirectly, have enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the illegal settlements.
“But there are companies that can be removed from the list because they have stopped working in the illegal settlements and other companies that should be added. It is in no one’s interest to leave the database out of date. Please sign the petition because keeping the database current creates an incentive and deterrent against engaging with Israel’s illegal settlement industry,” added Sharan Burrow.
Israel has built tens of thousands of homes on Palestinian land in defiance of international law, and businesses operating inside them are essential to the illegal settlements’ continued existence.