LPHR notes with serious concern that G4S’ response to our last statement fundamentally misrepresents the extent of the adverse findings of human rights breaches of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) made by the UK National Contact Point (NCP).
The fourth paragraph of G4S’ latest statement states:
“In what the NCP describes in its Final Statement as a “technical inconsistency” with the OECD Guidelines, the NCP does suggest that G4S could do more to influence its business partners, share best practice and commit to new practices in regard to future contracts.”
By clearly suggesting that a ‘technical inconsistency’ with the OECD Guidelines is the full extent of the NCP’s adverse findings, G4S’ above sentence disturbingly suggests either a significant misunderstanding or wilful disregard of the NCP’s finding of breaches.
To be absolutely clear, the NCP’s key adverse finding at paragraph 76* of its Final Statement is that G4S is in breach of its obligation to ‘address [human rights] impacts that it is linked to in a business relationship’, which is a core human rights breach of the OECD Guidelines. Crucially, the NCP does not refer to G4S’ failure to comply with the fundamental obligation outlined in paragraph 76 as a ‘technical’ breach. The NCP has made additional findings of ‘techncial inconsistencies’ with the obligation to respect human rights, but they alone plainly do not represent the full extent of the NCP’s grave adverse findings.
It is very worrying that a major British multinational company can substantially misrepresent the NCP’s serious findings of breach of human rights obligations of the OECD Guidelines. It fundamentally undermines its later claim that it “takes its human rights obligations seriously”.
In these circumstances, LPHR asks G4S to confirm it acknowledges and accepts that the NCP:
1. Has found that G4S is in breach of its obligation to address the human rights violations with which it is linked by its business relationships with relevant Israeli state agencies; and
2. Did not describe this adverse finding as a ‘technical’ breach.
About Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR): LPHR is a legal charity in the United Kingdom that works on projects to protect and promote Palestinian human rights.
* Paragraph 76 of the NCP Final Statement states: “Until G4S publicly communicates the actions it is taking to address the impacts it is linked to by the contracts referred to in the complaint, the UK NCP considers that its actions are not consistent with its obligation under Chapter IV, Paragraph 3 of the OECD Guidelines to address impacts it is linked to by a business relationship.”