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13 Mär 2012

Dr Shane Darcy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway

Dealings by Irish companies in repressive countries raise concerns about business and human rights

Software sold in Syria by…Cellusys and AdaptiveMobile has been reported as being used by the Syrian government to censor text messages by protestors challenging President Assad’s rule…This is not the first instance of involvement by Irish companies in the suppression of human rights outside of Ireland….Cement Roadstone Holdings [CRH] has been criticised for its 25% shareholding of Israeli company Mashav, which controls Nesher Cement, supplier of concrete for the construction of settlements and the ‘separation wall’, declared to be unlawful by the International Court of Justice…The United Nations has paid considerable attention over the past decade to the issue of business involvement in human rights violations. This culminated in 2011 with the endorsement by the Human Rights Council of a United Nations Framework and Guiding Principles on business and human rights…[T]he [Irish] State has not adequately addressed the recommendation in the…framework that home States “set out clearly the expectation that businesses respect human rights abroad…[also refers to GAMA, Shell, Statoil, IRMS Security, Tullow Oil]