A ‘Significant’ and ‘Concrete’ Step Forward? UN Releases Database of Businesses Linked to Israeli Settlements in the OPT - By Katharine Booth

Editor’s note: Katharine Booth holds a LLM, Advanced Programme in European and International Human Rights Law from Leiden University, Netherlands and a LLB and BA from the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is currently working with the Asser Institute in The Hague. She previously worked for a Supreme Court Justice and as lawyer in Australia.



On 12 February 2020, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Commissioner) issued a report on all business enterprises involved in certain activities relating to Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) (Report). The Report contains a database of 112 businesses that the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to conclude have been involved in certain activities in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Of the businesses listed, 94 are domiciled in Israel and the remaining 18 in 6 other countries: France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Thailand, the UK and the US. Many of the latter are household names in digital tourism, such as Airbnb, Booking, Expedia, Opodo and TripAdvisor, as well as Motorola. More...

The Proposed Binding Business and Human Rights Treaty: Summary of the Fourth Session of the Working Group - By Shamistha Selvaratnam

Editor’s note: Shamistha Selvaratnam is a LLM Candidate of the Advanced Masters of European and International Human Rights Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Prior to commencing the LLM, she worked as a business and human rights solicitor in Australia where she specialised in promoting business respect for human rights through engagement with policy, law and practice.

From 15 to 19 October 2018, the fourth session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights took place in Geneva. 92 UN States participated in the session along with a range of stakeholders, including intergovernmental organisations, business organisations, special procedures of the Human Rights Council and national human rights institutions. The focus of the session was on the zero draft of the proposed binding business and human rights treaty (from herein referred to as the ‘treaty’).

This blog sets out the key views and suggestions made by those in attendance with respect to the treaty during the session.[1] Issues and areas of concern raised at the session generally aligned with the critiques raised by commentators on the first draft of the treaty (which are set out in a previous blog). More...