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22 Feb 2018

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

Joint Open Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights following its Report on the UN Database of Businesses Involved in Settlement Activities

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The undersigned 33 organisations welcome the report your office released on 26 January 2018 pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), with regards to producing a Database of all business enterprises engaged in certain specified activities related to the Israeli settlements in the OPT... While we acknowledge the progress made to date, there is much work left to do. In that regard, and conscious of the fact that this mandate was created almost two years ago, we would urge your office to complete its review of all companies named as a matter of urgency... In moving forward with this process, we would ask your office to further clarify and elaborate on specific matters of methodology and processes. For example, as part of the screening process, we would ask that your office define the ‘minimal and remote’ business activities that would result in the business being excluded from the Database, and explain how this definition may relate to sub-contracting relationships and supply chains... We are aware that UN bodies, including your office, have been facing unprecedented pressure by some states and organisations to prevent the release of this Database. We therefore applaud your office for releasing this report nonetheless...