4 February 2010 – BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights has released new working paper under the title: “Principles and Mechanisms to Hold Business Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Potential Avenues to Challenge Corporate Involvement in Israel”s Oppression of the Palestinian People.” The paper is authored by U.S. attorney Yasmine Gado.
About the Working Paper Palestinians would not be a people displaced, dispossessed and oppressed in 2010 if states and the UN had held Israel accountable for its massive violation of international law and the Nakba over 60 years ago. However, not only governments and the UN, but also business corporations continue to render aid and assistance to Israel’s unlawful policies and practices until today. By conducting business as usual with Israel’s official and private sector, foreign enterprises help maintain a situation in which Israel abuses Palestinians’ basic human rights on a massive scale. Many of those engaged in efforts for justice, have therefore focused their efforts on holding corporations accountable.
These efforts for corporate accountability have begun to reap significant successes in recent months: Dexia Bank (France Belgium) has stopped funding Israeli settlements, BlackRock Bank, TIAA-CREF (US pension fund), and PFZW (Dutch pension fund) have divested from Africa-Israel, Veolia has announced its intention to withdraw from the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail project, and campaigns against other corporate offenders continue.
In examining mechanisms available within the existing legal and economic framework to advance corporate accountability for human rights abuses, and for their conduct in other areas of social concern, this Working Paper focuses on three primary categories: (1) domestic US law regulation and litigation under state domestic legal systems; (2) international law: binding international law governing corporate complicity in international crimes and non-binding international norms on the issue of business and human rights; and (3) market forces: socially responsible investment funds, shareholder activism, consumer boycotts, etc. The paper summarizes the latest developments in each of these areas and assesses the possibilities of building on these past experiences to hold corporations involved in the violation of Palestinians’ rights accountable.
This paper was prepared by Badil as a resource for the Palestinian civil society-led Campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it abides by its obligations under international law and all those engaged in efforts to end impunity for egregious human rights abuses.
About Badil Working Papers BADIL Working Papers provide a means for experts, practitioners and activists to publish research relevant to durable solutions and reparations for Palestinian refugees and IDPs as part of a just and
permanent solution of the Palestinian/Arab-Israeli conflict. Working papers do not necessarily reflect the views of BADIL. Past working papers can be downloaded at:
Title: Principles and Mechanisms to Hold Business Accountable for Human
Rights Abuses: Potential Avenues to Challenge Corporate Involvement in
Israel”s Oppression of the Palestinian People
Author: Yasmine Gado
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