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12 Jan 2012

Adri Nieuwhof, Electronic Intifada

Volvo misses the mark on responsibility for the protection of human rights [Israel/Occupied Territories]

In December I wrote about the use of Volvo and Hyundai equipment in the demolition of Palestinian homes in Beit Hanina, occupied East Jerusalem...Volvo wrote, “We understand your reaction to these pictures but...[w]e regard these as issues for elected politicians and diplomats to handle...[W]e do not adopt a position in the Middle East conflict.” Volvo Group misses the mark when it argues that protection of the human rights of the Palestinian people is a matter for politicians, because multinational enterprises have their own responsibility to protect human rights...[T]he OECD updated its Guidelines...aimed at ensuring that firms respect human rights in every country in which they operate. These Guidelines are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries...[T]he UN Human Rights Council has endorsed a new set of global guiding principles for business designed to ensure that companies do not violate human rights in the course of their transactions...Demolitions with Volvo and Caterpillar equipment continue. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Caterpillar to respond. Caterpillar response is below]