dinsdag 1 december 2020

De ITUC/IVV: Erkenning en verantwoordingsplicht van bedrijven zijn de sleutel tot de rechten van Palestijnse arbeiders

  News

ITUC: Recognition and corporate accountability key to Palestinian workers’ rights

Recognition of the state of Palestine and corporate accountability under international law are key to Palestinian workers’ rights

The 29 November is the international day of solidarity with Palestinian people and the ITUC calls on the international community to redouble efforts to achieve a two state solution, based on United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the pre-1967 borders – with East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state.

28 November 2020, International Trade Union Confederation

“The illegal settlements and their infrastructure comprise over 60% of the occupied West Bank and take resources that should benefit the people who are under occupation, who are entitled to special protection under international humanitarian law,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

“The ITUC calls on companies and investors to end their complicity in, and with, the illegal settlements.”

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

“In line with international law and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ITUC calls on companies and investors to end their complicity in, and with, the illegal settlements.

“The extraction of profits by Israeli and multinational corporations is reliant upon impeding Palestinian economic development, annexation of land and the plunder of Palestinian natural resources. For this we call on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to continue to ensure that the UN database of companies and businesses operating in the illegal settlements is updated and that it has a guarantee of adequate resources to ensure its sustainability,” concluded Sharan Burrow.

The ITUC welcomes the recently announced measures by the Israeli government that will significantly improve the current exploitative permit system for Palestinians seeking work in Israel. The new measures are aimed at overcoming the quota system and establishing direct employment relations between workers and employers, fighting the illicit and lucrative web of labour brokers.

Until now, Palestinians who seek a decent living by working in Israel are discriminated against and face an oppressive permit system that ties them to a particular Israeli employer, in conditions of severe exploitation.

“These reforms are a step forward. It is unacceptable that around 45% of Palestinians working in Israel have had to buy a permit from a broker and lose around 14% of their wages in illegal recruitment fees. These fraudulent brokers make up to US$256 per permit. In total that’s US$119m in illegal profits for labour brokers in 2018 alone. If the new reforms are going to work enforcement will be key,” commented Sharan Burrow.

The ITUC welcomes the reforms as a step towards implementing the International Labour Organization (ILO) general principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment.

“Millions of dollars are accumulated by the state through deductions from Palestinian wage earners in Israel. It is unacceptable that Israel refrains from transferring these funds as a punitive measure against the Palestinian Authority. In addition, the convoluted application process further prohibits workers from accessing their social benefits,” said Sharan Burrow.

The recognition of the state Palestine and corporate accountability under international law would put an end to these abusive practices and exploitation. The international community has the responsibility to urge governments and companies to respect international law.

~~~~

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 200 million members of 332 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on +32 2 224 02 53 or by e-mail: press@ituc-csi.org

Source: ITUC

Palestijnse arbeiders: gevangen tussen militaire bezetting en werkloosheid

Palestinian workers: Caught between military occupation and unemployment

Palestinian workers hurry at dawn to reach the Ni’lin checkpoint, west of Ramallah, to cross into Israel on a border permit. Many who do not have the permission of the Israeli army cross illegally anyway, in order to find work on the other side of the Green Line which separates the occupied Palestinian territories from the state of Israel. [Photo: Qassam Muaddi]

Caught between military occupation and unemployment, Palestinians continue to work in the Israeli economy without full labour rights

27 November 2020, by Qassam Muaddi, Equal Times

It is four in the morning and heavy rain washes the deserted alleys of the village of Al Midiah, west of Ramallah. A white minibus makes its way through in the darkness between the stone houses, towards the olive groves, at the western end of the village. The vehicle stops with a sudden jerk of the brake and 10 young people get out. They rush over the wet ground of a dirt road, between the prickly pears. The oldest, Mohammad, is 33 years old, with a backpack, a hood over his head, and a packet of tobacco in his hand. These young Palestinians will attempt to cross the Green Line, separating the occupied West Bank and Israel, illegally. Israel’s concrete separation wall comes to an end before Al Midiah. Here, the Green Line is marked by barbed wire that crosses the valley and in which workers regularly make holes to cross – at the risk of finding the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) patrolling the other side.

Zie verder ausPalestine

En van de ITUC/IVV Equaltimes 

De TUC is solidair met de Palestijnen, 29 november 2020

The TUC stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people

Supporting Palestinian rights is a priority for the TUC.  

Author

Sharon Sukhram 

Published date

29 Nov 2020

The ITUC rates Palestine as one of the worst countries in the world for workers, with no guarantee of rights due to a breakdown in the rule of law. 

Our work and policies in support of Palestinian rights and decent work are set out in an evidence-based report, ‘Justice for Palestine’ published today.  

The TUC calls on the UK government to: 

  • publicly support ending the illegal military occupation of Palestine; 
  • take firm action to ensure annexation does not go ahead; 
  • speak out in support of protecting all Palestinian human rights, including the right to collective self-determination and the right of refugees to return; 
  • recognise the State of Palestine and support genuine efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on a two-state solution, with Palestinians and Israelis participating as equals in talks. 

Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land has lasted for over 50 years, in violation of international law.  

The human rights situation “deteriorates day-by-day”, according to the UN’s Special Rapporteur. Human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)  include labour exploitation, home demolitions, forcible population transfer, excessive use of force and torture, and restrictions on freedom of movement. 

In the first six months of 2020, 21 Palestinians were killed by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) with at least half being shot.  

The nation-state law, passed by Israel’s Knesset in 2018 enshrines discrimination, and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has called on Israel to repeal the law or bring it into line with the relevant Covenant. 

Israel has been allowed to act with impunity for decades, and it now threatening to annex more Palestinian land. 

Despite claims by outgoing President Trump and others that annexation is off the table as part of Israel’s agreement with the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated that “There is no change in my plan to apply sovereignty, our sovereignty, in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the US. I’m committed to it, this hasn’t changed… This issue remains on the table”. 

But arguably, annexation is happening on the ground anyway with, for example, Israel’s construction of the 700km-plus wall mainly built on Palestinian land. 

We’ve written to the UK government stating our concerns about the annexation threat and called on it to publicly state that annexation would be met with serious consequences. 

The occupation has suffocated the Palestinian economy.  

According to the ILO, the occupation, settlements and restrictions such as checkpoints, roadblocks, the wall, metal gates, being unable to access natural resources and infrastructure “severely affect Palestinians’… right to non-discrimination, with regard to pursuing an adequate standard of living and decent work”. 

The economy in Gaza, blockaded by air, sea and land for over a decade is near collapse. Poverty rates in Gaza are over 50 per cent.  

Young Palestinian women face particularly bleak employment prospects, with 66 per cent out of the labour force in quarter two (April-June) of 2020. 

Despite business having an obligation to respect human rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, many are complicit and profit from the occupation and violations of Palestinian human rights – with some of these listed in the UN’s database.  

This complicity must end.

Faced with little alternative, around 130,000 Palestinians work in the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, and in Israel, in exploitative conditions characterised by discrimination, low pay, insecurity, poor health and safety and few rights at work (see report for more details). 

It’s good to hear that the Israeli government will finally make improvements to the exploitative permit system for construction workers in Israel, so that they will receive permits directly, rather than through their employer.  

This looks like a step forward and should establish a direct relationship between workers and employers, rather than via profiteering labour brokers - but enforcement will be vital. 

We're still waiting for more information about this policy change, but we'd want to see all workers treated fairly and have their rights respected. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has added further hardship and uncertainty for Palestinian workers and their families.  

Despite a tripartite agreement being signed with the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), 52 per cent of workers did not receive their salary/wages during the lockdown period. The PGFTU has been supporting incomes and providing food aid. 

Meanwhile, the illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory continue to expand – a move recently jointly condemned by the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain as being in violation of international law and imperilling the viability of a two-state solution. Around 600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the occupied West Bank, with about one-third in East Jerusalem, in approximately 250 settlements. 

The extensive appropriation of land and the appropriation and destruction of property required to build and expand settlements breaches international humanitarian law.

This injustice cannot continue. 

In solidarity with Palestinian people, the TUC supports a ban on trade with the illegal settlements, an end to arms trading with Israel, and suspension of the UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement until Palestinian rights are respected.  

We encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the occupation and the construction of the wall. 

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For more information about the TUC’s policies and work on Palestine see:  

Our report

Our Executive summary

Our solidarity message

--

2020 ITUC Global Rights Index / MENA, speciaal 'Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Libya'

Citaat uit het voorwoord, pagina 4

.... The Middle East and North Africa is the worst region
in the world for working people for seven years running with the ongoing insecurity and conflict in Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Libya, coupled with the most regressive region for workers’
representation and union rights.  .... 

Zie het rapport op ITUC

zondag 1 november 2020

Decent Work, Decent Life? - Defenceless: The impact of the Israeli military detention system on Palestinian children

 "Behandeld als dieren": Palestijnse kinderen worden onmenselijk behandeld in door Israël beheerde gevangenissen

Ramallah, 29 oktober - Kinderen in het Israëlische militaire 
detentiesysteem worden geconfronteerd met onmenselijke 
behandelingen, zoals afranselingen, strip searches, psychisch 
misbruik, weken in eenzame opsluiting en geen toegang tot een 
advocaat tijdens ondervragingen, zo blijkt uit nieuw onderzoek 
van Save the Children.

Save the Children raadpleegde meer dan 470 kinderen van over 
de hele Westelijke Jordaanoever die de afgelopen tien jaar 
vastzaten. De organisatie ontdekte dat de meerderheid van 
de kinderen 's nachts geblinddoekt uit huis werd gehaald, 
met hun handen pijnlijk op hun rug gebonden. Veel van de 
respondenten zeiden niet te hebben gehoord waarom ze werden 
gearresteerd of waar ze heen gingen. ......
--------------------------------------------------------------

“Treated like animals”: Palestinian children face inhumane treatment in Israeli-run prisons

Ramallah, 29th October - Children in the Israeli military detention system face inhumane treatment such as beatings, strip searches, psychological abuse, weeks in solitary confinement, and being denied access to a lawyer during interrogations, new research by Save the Children found.

Save the Children consulted more than 470 children from across the West Bank who have been detained over the past ten years. The organisation found that the majority of children were taken from their homes at night, blindfolded, with their hands painfully bound behind their backs. Many of the respondents said were not told why they were being arrested or where they were going.

“They destroyed the front door, entered my room, covered my face with a bag and took me away…They told my father that I would return the next day. I returned after 12 months”*, said *Abdullah*, who was detained six times as a child.

Every year, hundreds of Palestinian children are detained by Israeli authorities. They are the only children in the world who are systematically prosecuted through a military, rather than civilian, justice system.[1] The most common charge is throwing a stone - for which the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison

After their arrest, children are transferred to interrogation centres, where they reported being forced to lie face-down on the metal floor of military vehicles, denied bathroom breaks, deprived of food and water, and physically assaulted.

“They arrested me on my way to school at a military checkpoint. They searched my bag and spoke to me in Hebrew - a language I do not understand. They handcuffed me, threw me on the floor and stepped on my back”, said Fatima*, who was detained when she was 14.

Children described the detention experience as “torturous”, “dehumanising”, “humiliating” and “terrifying”. Amina* who was detained at 15 years old, said: “You do not feel like a human being in that place. We were treated like animals.”

Save the Children’s consultation showed that:

  • 81% endured physical beatings and 89% suffered verbal abuse

  • 52% were threatened with harm to their families

  • 86% were subjected to strip searches, leaving them humiliated and ashamed
  • 88% did not receive adequate and timely healthcare, even when explicitly requested
  • Almost half (47%) were denied contact with a lawyer

Issa*, who was arrested when he was 15 years old, said: “While I was being interrogated, they kept shouting at me, and they put a gun on the table in front of me to scare me. They said bad, bad words. I don’t want to think about those words…

“Prison was an ugly place. They would set off alarms at midnight, 3am and 6am so we could never sleep for long. If you’re not awake at these alarms, you will be beaten. I was beaten with wooden sticks a few times. I still have back pain now because of a particularly bad beating.”

Up to half of the participating children reported that they were held in isolation or solitary confinement, sometimes for several weeks. More than half of the children said they were not allowed to see their families and in some cases were made to believe that their families had abandoned them – leaving them feeling scared, alone and rejected.

Save the Children’s research also reveals the deep impact of detention on children’s lives since their release, with the vast majority saying their experiences have changed them forever. Children often struggle with insomnia, nightmares, eating disorders, behavioural changes, anger, or feelings of depression. This has led to physical symptoms such as numbness, chronic muscle pain, headaches, and uncontrollable shaking.

Jeremy Stoner, Save the Children’s Regional Director for the Middle East, said: “Children as young as twelve have told us about truly inhumane treatment in the Israeli military detention system. There is no possible justification for setting dogs on children, beating them, or shackling them to metal chairs. Whatever they are accused of, regardless of guilt or innocence, these children must be treated first and foremost as children – with all the special protections this entails.

“No child should be experiencing such cruelty at the hands of those who are meant to be looking after them. Children should no longer be prosecuted in military courts – and there has never been greater urgency to release children from prison as systemic ill-treatment is compounded by the threat of COVID-19 in detention centres. Only with these changes can we prevent irrevocable damage being inflicted on generations of Palestinian children.”

Save the Children is calling for:
The Government of Israel to respect international law, and to end the detention and mistreatment of children under military law. Israeli authorities must immediately adopt practical safeguards to improve the situation for children who are currently detained. This includes ending the systemic ill-treatment of children, establishing protection and safeguards for detainees, and providing adequate services to support girls and boys to recover from their experiences.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) to increase rehabilitative support for children who have been detained, including psychological support. The PA should also offer support services aimed at reducing stigma associated with child detainees and supporting their reintegration into communities and education.

ENDS

*Name changed to protect identity

[1] Defence for Children International (DCI-P), Military detention, see https://www.dci-palestine.org/issues_military_detention

https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/defenceless-impact-israeli-military-detention-system

donderdag 8 oktober 2020

NPK: Britse vakbonden tegen Israelische Apartheid

In een primeur verbinden Britse vakbonden zich ertoe de Israëlische ‘apartheid’ uit te dagen

Bernard Regan

Mondoweiss / 7 oktober 2020

Een motie van het Britse Vakbondscongres waarin de leden 
worden aangespoord “zich aan te sluiten bij de internationale 
campagne om de annexatie te stoppen en de apartheid te 
beëindigen” zou vakbonden over de hele wereld kunnen aanmoedigen
om een ​​belangrijke rol te spelen in de internationale 
Palestijnse solidariteitsbeweging, net als tegen de 
apartheid in Zuid-Afrika.

Op 15 september keurde het jaarlijkse congres van het 
Vakbondscongres (TUC), dat bijna 6 miljoen leden in het 
VK vertegenwoordigde, een motie goed waarin zijn solidariteit
met de strijd van het Palestijnse volk voor het recht op 
zelfbeschikking werd bevestigd, waarbij de bezetting en 
de expansiepolitiek van de Israelische regering werden 
veroordeeld. 
........................ 
Verder

 https://palestina-komitee.nl/in-a-first-british-trade-unions-commit-to-challenging-israeli-apartheid-2/

 

vrijdag 18 september 2020

PAX: Nederland laat bedrijven ongemoeid die in Palestina internationaal recht schenden

Nederland laat bedrijven ongemoeid die in Palestina internationaal recht schenden

16-09-2020

Al sinds februari van dit jaar is duidelijk welke bedrijven betrokken zijn bij economische activiteiten in illegale Israëlische nederzettingen in bezet Palestijns gebied. Op een lijst van de VN staan vier Nederlandse bedrijven. Maar tot nu toe onderneemt de Nederlandse overheid geen actie.

De VN Hoge Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten publiceerde in februari de langverwachte lijst van bedrijven die meedoen aan de nederzettingeneconomie, het geheel van Israëlische en internationale economische activiteiten in de nederzettingen in bezet Palestijns gebied, is strijdig met internationaal recht en houdt de grove mensenrechtenschendingen die onderdeel zijn van de bezetting alsook de uitbreiding van de illegale nederzettingen in stand. Het beeld is somber. Er wordt niet alleen handelgedreven met illegale nederzettingen, er wordt ook gebouwd op bezet Palestijns land. Tevens zijn Israëlische en buitenlandse bedrijven betrokken bij schendingen van oorlogsrecht, waaronder landonteigeningen en exploitatie van Palestijnse grondstoffen. De militaire bezetting wordt gekenmerkt door wrede handhaving van draconische beperkingen, die ieder aspect van het leven van Palestijnen beheersen. De VN-lijst verschaft inzicht in de vraag, welke bedrijven precies betrokken zijn bij de nederzettingeneconomie. Sinds 2016, toen VN Hoge Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten de opdracht kreeg de lijst op te stellen, tot het moment van verschijnen in februari dit jaar, is er door staten en bedrijven gelobbyd om publicatie tégen te houden. Amnesty International heeft dat proces in detail beschreven.

Nederlandse bedrijven betrokken bij nederzettingen

Er staan vier Nederlandse bedrijven op de lijst van 122 bedrijven: Tahal Group International B.V., Kardan N.V., Altice Europe N.V. en Booking.com. Behalve Booking.com zijn het in feite Israëlische bedrijven, die gevestigd zijn in Nederland, waar ze kunnen profiteren van Nederlandse (belasting)voordelen.  Zij hebben hier dus verantwoording af te leggen voor de gevolgen van hun bedrijfsactiviteiten in Nederland en elders. Het zijn geen kleine jongens. Kardan N.V. is een investeringsmaatschappij die in 2019 65 miljoen euro omzet maakte. Ontwikkelaar van infrastructuur Tahal Group International B.V., draaide in datzelfde jaar 153 miljoen euro omzet. Altice Group N.V. is een telecom- en kabelbedrijf dat in 2019 440 miljoen euro winst boekte.

De vermoorde onschuld

Ondergetekende organisaties schreven de vier Nederlandse bedrijven aan en wezen hen onder andere op hun vermelding op de VN-lijst. Alleen Kardan N.V. reageerde: “We are not familiar with the specific information included in the database. […]  All the projects relate to providing clean water, such as waste water treatment plants, and water supply to residents. As such, the projects of Tahal are sustainable and humanitarian in essence as they aim to provide a basic necessity which is clean water.”

De realiteit? Tahal, gecontracteerd door Israëlisch staatsbedrijf Mekorot, is betrokken bij het onttrekken van water aan bezet Palestijns gebied ten behoeve van Israël en Israëlische kolonisten in de illegale nederzettingen. Booking.com gaat onverdroten door met het verhuren van accommodaties in nederzettingen op bezet Palestijns land. 

Lippendienst

Treedt de Nederlandse overheid op? In reactie op Kamervragen over de VN-lijst geven ministers Kaag en Blok keurig het regeringsstandpunt weer: Israëlische nederzettingen in bezet gebied zijn strijdig met internationaal recht. Bedrijfsactiviteiten die bijdragen aan het ontwikkelen of bestendigen van de nederzettingen zijn ‘onwenselijk’ en economische relaties met bedrijven in nederzettingen worden ‘ontmoedigd’. De eigen verantwoordelijkheid van bedrijven wordt benadrukt en actie van regeringswege blijft uit.

Wat kan Nederland wèl doen?

De Nederlandse overheid heeft mogelijkheden te over om bedrijven op het juiste pad te krijgen: eisen dat de bedrijven waarbij het inkoopt mensenrechten respecteren en transparant zijn over de invulling van hun verantwoordelijkheden; elke vorm van steunmaatregelen, belastingvoordelen en dienstverlening afhankelijk maken van naleving van mensenrechtenverplichtingen. Daarnaast zou het Openbaar Ministerie onderzoek kunnen instellen naar de betrokkenheid van de Nederlandse bedrijven bij schendingen van internationaal strafrecht in de nederzettingen.

Palestina als voorbeeld

De VN-lijst is bovendien een blauwdruk voor andere conflictgebieden waar bedrijven de fout in gaan. Wat voor Israël geldt, geldt bijvoorbeeld ook voor Rusland, inzake de Krim, en in andere situaties van bezetting en oorlog. In een context van voortdurende straffeloosheid kan een lijst van medeplichtige bedrijven namen en shamen een effectief middel blijken in de strijd om een einde te maken aan de bezettingseconomie en de mensenrechtenschendingen die daarmee onlosmakelijk verbonden zijn.

In het licht van de Israëlische plannen om meer delen van de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever te annexeren en de voortdurende mensenrechtencrisis in de bezette gebieden, zijn woorden niet genoeg. De Nederlandse overheid heeft de verantwoordelijkheid om naleving van internationaal recht te bevorderen. Regering, zet nu eens de middelen in om de mooie principes met betrekking tot mensenrechten en bedrijfsleven echt af te dwingen, papieren werkelijkheden zijn er al genoeg.

---

Dit artikel verscheen in ingekorte vorm in de Volkskrant.
Door: Pauline Overeem en Lydia de Leeuw, onderzoekers bij SOMO
Namens: PAX, SOMO, Amnesty International – Nederland, Een Ander Joods Geluid (EAJG), The Rights Forum

https://www.paxvoorvrede.nl/actueel/nieuwsberichten/nederland-laat-bedrijven-ongemoeid-die-in-palestina-internationaal-recht-schenden