Yesterday, Sarah Champion MP asked a question in the House of Commons to the Foreign Office minister, Tobias Ellwood MP, concerning G4S’ ongoing breach of human rights obligations towards Palestinians under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Sarah Champion MP asked:
“As well as demolishing Palestinian homes on the West Bank, Israel continues to arrest and detain Palestinian children in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. G4S, which has provided services for Israeli military checkpoints and prisons, has been found by the UK National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines to be in breach of its fundamental human rights obligations. Will the Minister join me in calling for G4S to withdraw fully from its relevant contracts with the Israeli state agencies?”
Tobias Ellwood MP (the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) replied:
“I will certainly look into the case that the hon. Lady raises. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is concerned about the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons and has raised it with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, and I raised it during my recent visit to Israel. We have done some work—and, indeed, have invested some funds—to ensure that the children are looked after in the best possible way.”
The parliamentary question by Sarah Champion MP follows the UK National Contact Point’s publication of its Follow-Up Statement last week which highlighted that G4S:
- is in ongoing breach of its human rights obligations under the OECD Guidelines;
- has not implemented key recommendations made by the UK NCP; and
- has been ‘selective’ and ‘misleading’ in its public response to the UK NCP’s findings.
LPHR’s statement on the UK NCP’s Follow-Up Statement can be viewed here.