House of Lords written question – answered on 25th June 2014.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to G4S about the legal implications of its remaining involvement with the Israeli Prison Service until 2017, in the light of Article 76 of the 4th Geneva Convention and its application to the detention of Palestinians.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The UK considers that Israel’s detention of Palestinian prisoners within Israel is contrary to Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and have clearly stated this position to Israeli officials. We have also made clear our concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian detainees in meetings with G4S. International law does not impose direct obligations on corporations. However, the Government encourages British companies to show respect for human rights in their operations in the UK and internationally.

In September 2013, we launched the UK Action Plan based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This is voluntary guidance which British businesses can consult on doing business in Israel and OPTs, but ultimately it is the decision of an individual or company concerned.

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