Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) has repeatedly identified instances of G4S’ failure to acknowledge the significance of the UK National Contact Point’s (UK NCP) important decision that the Company is in breach of human rights obligations as a consequence of its operations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
In June 2015, LPHR entered into an unsuccessful dialogue with G4S, through the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre website, about the misleading nature of G4S’ statement on the UK NCP’s Final Statement. LPHR also asked G4S, in a private letter dated 28 October 2015 (subsequently made public in May 2016), to acknowledge that the UK NCP found the Company in breach of its obligation under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to address the human right violations with which it is linked by its business relationships with relevant Israeli state agencies. This request, and 15 others that were included in the letter, were not substantively responded to. LPHR also raised G4S’ misrepresentation with the UK NCP in its confidential submission to the UK business watchdog prior to the preparation of its Follow-Up Statement.
On 7 July 2016, G4S made a public statement in response to the UK National Contact Point (UK NCP)’s Follow-Up Statement, that had been confidentially issued to LPHR and G4S a few weeks prior to its publication.
In G4S’ statement, it again categorically failed to recognise the extent of the UK NCP’s findings and, yet again, led those reading it to conclude that the Company had been cleared of any wrongdoing. This is acutely concerning, particularly given that the statement which G4S was responding to expressly chastised G4S’ behaviour as ‘disappointing’ and its public statements as ‘selective’ and ‘misleading’.
In the interests of transparency, LPHR has prepared a document that sets out the text of the UK NCP’s Conclusions, extracted directly from the UK NCP’s Follow-Up Statement. We have then mapped onto this text all of G4S’ Statement on those conclusions. This comparison table succinctly, and indisputably, reveals the extent of G4S’ consistent approach to selectively and misleadingly representing the NCP’s findings, by reference to the Company’s own words. Text in bold highlights particularly critical aspects of the UK NCP’s Conclusions which G4S has failed to address or deliberately re-interpreted. We also note an especially concerning comment made by G4S in its statement which fundamentally contradicts a statement the Company made to the UK NCP during the confidential UK NCP investigation process. Please see our comparison table here.
LPHR will continue to seek to address G4S’ failure to face the criticism levelled at it, and will be raising this issue with the UK government and MPs over the coming months. This work and issue has become even more relevant and concerning following the news that the UK Government has awarded G4S a contract to run a Government-funded helpline for victims of discrimination. The Company’s disturbing inability to responsibly admit, let alone sufficiently address, its involvement in human rights violations against Palestinians as found by the UK NCP, raises critical concerns over its ability, suitability and credibility to importantly assist others facing discrimination.