NGOs publish a new report providing guidance for upholding human rights in occupied territories
On April 30th, Al-Haq and global legal action network have released a new report, Business and Human Rights in Occupied Territory: Guidance for Upholding Human Rights, closely examines the economies of three situations of occupation - in Russian-annexed Crimea, Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, and Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.
The report analyses the supply chains and administrative and legal framework for the activities of businesses of the occupying State and of foreign companies in these territories. It aims to draw lessons and recommendations for businesses when conducting enhanced human rights due diligence for operations or relationships connected to occupied territories.
Alongside risks related to causing, contributing or being linked to adverse human rights impacts, the report also identifies the legal, financial, commercial, and other risks that businesses may be exposed to.
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..While guidance on HRDD in conflict-affected areas is broadly available, situations of occupation, in particular, continue to be met with inconsistent approaches by both businesses and States. Such incoherence is exacerbated by the already challenging legal and administrative environment present in occupied territories, where businesses must not only consider international human rights law (IHRL) but also international humanitarian law (IHL), alongside other frameworks, when assessing their business activities and relationships. Central to this assessment is the manner in which an Occupying Power administers the occupied territory, where IHL regulates the Occupying Power’s use and exploitation of natural resources, including land, and prohibits measures aimed at the permanent retention of the occupied territory, including the transfer of populations, amongst other principles.