[Update: Business and Human Rights Resource Centre published our letter on 18 September. They sought a reply from JCB, but the company did not respond.]
LPHR has today submitted an urgent letter to the UK company, JC Bamford Excavators Limited (“JCB”), in relation to the use of their excavators in the imminent demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank. It can be read here.
We raise with JCB the serious concern that the provision of its products for use by the Israel authorities in these (and other) demolitions, is in breach of JCB’s human rights responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines).
We additionally raise with JCB the significant concern that JCB’s involvement in the demolition process of Khan al-Ahmar – which will lead to the involuntary eviction of its 181 residents – may amount to aiding and abetting the war crime of forcible transfer. This could lead to the criminal liability of individuals within the company.
We urge JCB to consider our two practical and necessary recommendations that are in accordance with their business and human rights responsibilities:
immediately implement all necessary measures to bring JCB into transparent compliance with the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines in regard to the use of JCB products by the Israeli authorities; and
take all available steps and use all available leverage to ensure that JCB’s products are not used to contribute to the demolition process in Khan al-Ahmar or the prohibited forcible transfer of its residents and that no further equipment is supplied in relation to such purpose
LPHR requests that JCB inform us as soon as possible what steps they will take in relation to points 1 and 2 above. We will continue to closely monitor this urgent matter.
About LPHR: Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) is a lawyer-based legal charity in the UK that works on projects to protect and promote Palestinian human rights. LPHR’s mission is to use our expertise to meaningfully contribute towards transforming the critical human rights situation impacting Palestinians.