An open letter from Jordanian NGOs to UN agencies
An open letter to UN Women, WFP and UNDP in Jordan: Don’t reward G4S for their complicity in human rights abuses and violations of international law
We, the undersigned women’s rights and human rights associations in Jordan, call upon United Nations agencies in Jordan, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to protect human rights by ending your relationship with occupation profiteer security firm G4S.
G4S is multinational security company that operates in Israel and specifically in projects that violate international law and the fundamental principles of human rights. According to a 2012 report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine approved by the UN General Assembly, the company provides security services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints along the apartheid wall and businesses operating in the settlements. It also co-runs the Israeli police academy in the district of Jerusalem.
Your contracts with G4S are of great concern to us and the constituencies whom we represent, not least because these contracts violate the UN Supplier Code of Conduct, which obliges companies that UN agencies deal with to respect human rights and ensure that they are not complicit in any such abuses.
By providing security services, equipment and guards to businesses operating in illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land, G4S is aiding the illegal settlement enterprise that is widely condemned and is in violation of international law and UN Resolutions.
It has been reported and well documented that Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, are persistently subjected to torture and degrading treatment in Israeli prisons, including those serviced by G4S.
Furthermore, G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli detention centres in which Palestinian political prisoners are held under administrative detention without charge or trial on a six-month detention order renewable indefinitely denying them the right to freely consult a lawyer or their basic right of a fair and regular trial.
Today, Israel is incarcerating approximately 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners of whom 350 are children, and detaining 750 under administrative detention.
G4S is also acting against the International Court of Justice’s judgment of 2004 titled “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” which declared the segregation wall as an illegal construction under international law by providing surveillance and full body scanners to checkpoints along the wall which divides and the West Bank and restricts the Palestinians right to freedom of movement. There has been many incidents where women were forced to give birth on these checkpoints prohibiting them from accessing hospital or health facilities. Many mothers have died on checkpoints whilst giving birth in such cruel conditions.
G4S has repeatedly promised, and negated its promise, to withdraw from contracts violating international law but until this moment it has not done so.
We urge the UN agencies contracting with G4S – UN Women, WFP and UNDP – to respect international law and uphold your commitment to women and human rights by refraining from awarding occupation profiteer G4S any future contracts until the mother company ends its complicity in human rights abuses in Palestine.
Jordanian Women’s Union
Arab Women Organisation, Jordan
Tamkeen – Legal Aid & Human Rights
Human Forum for Women’s Rights
Tadamon – The Jordanian Women’s Solidarity Association
Mizan Law Group for Human Rights
Human Rights Defenders Association
Justice Centre for Legal Aid
Jordanian Society for Human Rights
ARDD Legal Aid
Lawyers Without Borders, Jordan