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1 Jan 2018

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights' briefing on the UK Government's position on the UN business and human rights database listing companies involved in settlement-related activities

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... The UK Government abstained on the vote of this Human Rights Council resolution in March 2016. In its explanation of its position, it was the only state to declare that the database was “inappropriate” and that “it would not cooperate in the process” of its implementation. It has since briefly elaborated a host of reasons for its opposition to the UN Database to LPHR. Our assessment of them is that they do not individually or cumulatively amount to an adequate basis for justifiably opposing the UN Database. One reason advanced by the UK Government for not supporting the UN Database is that it considers that the Human Rights Council should focus on states rather than on private companies. LPHR takes the view that this position is not compatible with the UK Government's and international community's significant recognition, as expressed in its support for the UN Guiding Principles published in 2011, that companies, in addition to states, have vital responsibilities in protecting and advancing respect for human rights... LPHR's analysis leads to the conclusion that the UK Government has adopted an unjustifiably narrow and flawed interpretation of the remit given to the High Commissioner under paragraph 17...