Support the Occupied Territories Bill
30 Jan 2018
Congress calls for support of Bill to ban trade with Occupied Territories.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions Global Solidarity Committee has welcomed the publication of the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 by Senator Frances Black, which will be debated later today in the Seanad.
Yvonne O’ Callaghan, Committee Vice-Chair said “Today , Ireland can take decisive action towards supporting human rights by backing this important piece of legislation. If passed the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 would ban trade with territories where there is a clear international legal consensus-through the international criminal court and international court of justice-on the status of occupation. This is a ban on trade with settlements which the international community regard as illegal and unjust. “
The legislation applies to settlements in occupied territories where there is clear international legal consensus that they violate international law. The clearest current example are Israel’s numerous illegal settlements, including industrial and agricultural zones, in occupied Palestine, which have been repeatedly condemned as illegal by the UN Security Council and other UN bodies, the EU, the International Court of Justice, the Irish Government, and countless human rights organisations.
The legislation will also be applicable to products from any other territories that are deemed to be occupied in the future. This piece of legislation if passed by the Oireachtas would be legal under EU rules, which allows member states to alter trade rules “on ground of public morality, public policy or public security, and the protection of health and life of humans”.
Joan McCrohan, Committee Chair said “We can no longer keep supporting violations of human rights and breaches of international law. Settlements in Occupied territories are clearly illegal under international law and therefore the goods they produce are the proceeds of crime. It is time for Ireland to stand up for international law and ensure that human rights are embedded in our law on trade”.
The Occupied Territories Bill 2018 will be debated at Second Stage in Seanad Éireann on Tuesday, January 31st 2018 and will be streamed live on Oireachtas TV. It has been co-signed by Seanad Civil Engagement Group Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Grace O'Sullivan, Colette Kelleher and John Dolan, as well as Senator David Norris.