A MAJOR children’s charity has accepted millions of pounds from a company under the spotlight for the destruction of Palestinian homes.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has received £5 million from JCB which has been reported to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
It emerged yesterday that a UK government body has decided that a complaint from the Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights that JCB is involved in “serious human rights violations” warrants investigation.
Recently, two professional bodies working in child welfare have also gone public, writing open letters to the NSPCC and strongly criticising the charity’s link with JCB. The two groups are UK Palestine Mental Health Network (UKPalMHN) and Social Work Action Network. But the NSPCC says it has no plans to sever its links with JCB.
A coalition of NGOs approached JCB co-owner Lady Carole Bamford in March last year giving evidence of how the bulldozers are used in Palestine using the research of the Shoal Collective. She did not respond.
So then the NSPCC was approached with a request to stop taking money from this donor. Video evidence was furnished to show JCB machines in action destroying homes and ripping up olive trees.
But the NSPCC refused the request, quoting its ethical policy of not accepting money made from slavery, human, trafficking or child labour.
The standard letter sent to campaigners said: “The export activities of a corporate does not form part of our ethical checks unless there is demonstrable evidence that there is an association between such a corporate and a country on which the UK Government/Department of Trade has formally imposed trade restrictions.”
Anne O’Gara of Protecting Palestinian Families (PPF), an offshoot of Stop the Demolitions, said: “Their ethical standards are just not high enough – it’s not acceptable to take money from child labour but it’s perfectly acceptable to take money made from the demolition of children’s homes, schools, clinics and olive orchards.”
The director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK Linda Ramsden said: “According to this response British children are protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but not Palestinian children – it’s outrageous.”
Notes to editors:
The NSPCC has received detailed evidence of JCB’s complicity with Israel. For example:
- this short B’tselem videoshowing JCB equipment in action
- the 2012 War on Want report, condemning JCB’s complicity in Israel’s crimes
- key points from the 2019 article by Corporate Occupation
- Shoal Collective’s book, detailing the use of JCB equipment in violations of human rights
- the UN list of companies complicit with Israel, naming JCB
- Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights’ formal complaint to the OECD, detailing JCB’s failures regarding their human rights responsibilities.
 JCB exports to its Israeli partner, Comasco; Comasco then sells or leases JCB equipment to Israeli agencies.