G4S share price: company cleared of human rights failings in Israel

on Jun 10, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

G4S Plc (LON:GFS) has been cleared of “broad failure” in regards to the observation of human rights in Palestine, the UK government funded watchdog National Contact Point (NCP) said yesterday, following a 17 month investigation.

The investigation was prompted from a complaint made by the British charity Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights. The group argued that G4S, in providing equipment and services that are employed by the Israeli military at checkpoints throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip , had limited Palestinians’ freedom of movement and restricted their access to health, education and work.
The group maintained that because Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza strip are deemed illegal under international law, G4S had failed to observe its human rights obligations under OECD guidelines.
The NCP, however, didn’t find major failings by the company, and the observed breaches of OECD guidelines were “for technical reasons.” Still, the watchdog advised that the security firm consider how it can address the issue raised by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights.
“The UK NCP considers that there is evidence that G4S has leverage, and could take action,” The NCP report read. “Until G4S publicly communicates the actions it is taking to address the impacts it is linked to by the contracts referred to in the complaint, the UK NCP considers that its actions are not consistent with its obligation under Chapter IV, Paragraph 3 of the OECD Guidelines to address impacts it is linked to by a business relationship.”
The NCP said it will request an update on the issue from both parties in one year’s time, while it also recommended that G4S introduce human rights assessments into its contract approval process.
The report “does not find any general failure by the company to respect the human rights,” G4S commented. The firm said it would “continue to work with customers and business partners to safeguard human rights and ethical standards in line with the UN guiding principles on business and human rights and in accordance with best practice.”
G4S confirmed last year that it would not seek to extend its contracts with Israel past their 2017 expiration.
G4S’ share price dipped 0.48 percent to 288.90p as of 08:35 BST today, underperforming the FTSE 100 which was flat. The company’s stock is more than 15 percent higher from a year ago.
As of 10:21 BST, Wednesday, 10 June, G4S plc share price is 289.90p.

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