(19 Aug. 2015) Corporate Complicity in Violations of International Law: BADIL’s briefing of UN Special Committee

On 7 August 2015 BADIL provided a briefing to the United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.  The briefing which was requested by the Special Committee, focused on corporate complicity in violations of international law, the legal framework, the legal and social responsibilities of private actors, and the roles of states, the UN and civil society.

BADIL presented three case studies to the Committee, highlighting the exploitation of natural resources and the provision of services to colonies (settlements) in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories: a Dutch corporation, Kardan N.V.; and two Israeli corporations, Kardan Yazamut and the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation. BADIL demonstrated the complicity of these corporations in the forced population transfer of Palestinians, which is a war crime and crime against humanity according to international humanitarian criminal, and human rights laws. BADIL’s recommendation included the development of  the existing soft law into a binding treaty regulating corporate responsibility towards human rights as well as the enhancement of social responsibility.

The Committee commented that BADIL’s briefing was comprehensive and informative and they looked forward to receiving further research on the issue of corporate complicity as an ongoing priority.

Further information on corporate complicity can be found in BADIL’s recent publication “Corporate Complicity in Violations of International Law in Palestine” which was shared with the Committee. A second publication on the same topic will be released later this year.

The Committee issued an end of mission press release and will be submitting a report to the UN General Assembly’s 70th Session in November 2015.