G4S: Private Security Company Fosters Human Rights Violations in Israel

The occupied areas of Gaza and the West Bank have undergone many changes in recent years. One of the major changes to the region is the scaling back of military presence. Tasks formerly overseen by military forces have been gradually handed over to private security companies. G4S has played an important role in this shift.

G4S signed a contract with the Israel Prison Authority (IPA) in 2007. Since then, they have provided complete security systems to four prisons in Israel and the occupied territories. Israel has also acquired equipment for checkpoints, such as metal detectors and full-body scanners, from G4S.

By outfitting Israeli prisons in this way, both the Israeli government and G4S became complicit to, and thus accountable for, any human rights violations which ensued. Israeli citizens are currently tried under Israeli law; however, Palestinians are tried under military law. Thus, an Israeli would see a judge long before a Palestinian. Furthermore, Palestinians are eligible to be tried as adults two years earlier than Israelis. Within the prisons, Palestinians do not have access to basic rights. They are systematically abused by the guards, do not have access to phones or news of the outside world, and are rarely permitted visitors.

G4S takes an active role in helping Israelis transport prisoners into Israeli territory. This involvement is a clear breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the transfer of prisoners into the territory of the occupier.

In 2013, the Public Eye Awards nominated G4S for the title of “Worst Company of the Year.”

 

Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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