Boris Johnson’s endorsement of JCB is shameful

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the JCB factory in Vadodara, Gujarat - India (WPA)

The Guardian  /  April 27, 2022

Letter by Stuart Penny (Y Ferwig, Ceredigion, UK)

 Amnesty International’s report JCB Off Track gives evidence that the company’s equipment has been used in the destruction of Palestinian homes.

Boris Johnson’s recent visit to a JCB factory in India inadvertently highlighted the use of JCB vehicles in the destruction of mainly Muslim settlements (Outcry in India as Boris Johnson visits JCB plant amid demolitions row, 21 April).

These are not the only abuses of human rights committed using JCB equipment. Amnesty International’s report JCB Off Track, published in November last year, gives evidence of the use of JCB equipment in the destruction of Palestinian homes, agricultural land and other property in the occupied Palestinian territories. The report explains the steps that Amnesty says the company could take to prevent this.

In February 2020, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a database of “business enterprises involved in certain specified activities related to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

JCB is one of the companies listed in this database. In November 2021, UK National Contact Point, which manages complaints about the practices of UK multinational companies in relation to OECD guidelines, found that JCB had failed to carry out due diligence on human rights in its supply chain.

Boris Johnson’s continued endorsement of a company whose products have been used in human rights abuses is not only shameful but shows Britain in an appalling light to the rest of the world.