In October 2015, LPHR sent a comprehensive letter to G4S, which has just been published by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC).
This important letter detailed our issues of concern and 16 key questions for G4S to answer following the UK National Contact Point’s (UK NCP) adverse findings in relation to G4S’ activities in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Our letter was sent to G4S on 28 October 2015, and then again in January 2016 and March 2016, but we did not receive a reply.
Given that G4S has not responded to this letter, we believe there is a strong public interest in now publishing this letter for the benefit of G4S’ stakeholders and anyone else interested in this important business and human rights matter. The issues of concern addressed in the letter are extant and include: G4S’ interpretation of the UK NCP’s Final Statement; G4S’ review of UK NCP’s adverse findings and implementation of following recommendations; and clarity on G4S’ contracts in Israel and the oPt and public commitments.
We are very grateful to the BHRRC for publishing our letter and seeking a response to it from G4S. The response that BHRRC has obtained from G4S is, however, disappointing as it shows no indication that the company has read our letter and nor does it address its 16 specific questions. Rather, it partly addresses two LPHR commentaries that were published a couple of weeks ago on our website, and which we note BHRRC did not send to G4S for comment.
We therefore have again urged G4S – through a response sent today to the BHRRC – to provide its overdue reply to the 16 specific questions in our published letter. This response is all the more pressing in the interests of transparency as the company’s AGM approaches on 26 May.
Finally, and for the purposes of clarity, we note that G4S has incorrectly claimed that we have stated that the company ‘did not engage in the NCP process’. This is an inaccurate representation of the position we clearly took in one of our two aforementioned commentaries. This position is that G4S’ engagement in the UK NCP process was ‘minimal’, given that it withheld material information to the UK NCP and LPHR by asserting commercial confidentiality, and that it declined to participate in the mediation process that the UK NCP offered and which LPHR accepted.
(Note: there are three redactions made to our published letter. These have been made to comply with OECD procedural guidance in regard to correspondence submitted to the UK NCP by parties during the UK NCP process.)
Tareq Shrourou, Claire Jeffery