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Contract between Orange and Partner to end by 2017: A victory for human rights

Orange announced...that it has amended its contract with Partner, an Israeli telecommunications company operating in Israeli settlements. This amendment aims at terminating this contract within two years, in exchange for a compensation of tens of millions of euros. Civil society organisations (CSOs)...authors of a report....entitled "Orange dangerous liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," welcome this announcement and call upon Orange to implement the termination process within the set time frame. Notwithstanding, CSOs regret that Orange has not publicly recognized the risks of human rights abuses related to its business relationship with Partner, in contrast with other companies and investors who have publicly done so.Business enterprises have a responsibility to ensure they do not contribute directly or indirectly to the maintenance of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), recognized as illegal under international law, and involving numerous violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. In failing to bring Partner to end its business activities in Israeli settlements, Orange was obliged to end its brand licensing agreement with Partner in order to meet its duty of human rights due diligence.

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