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Statement on Israel-Gaza crisis

In relation to the Israel-Gaza crisis, Human Rights International Corner (HRIC) strongly condemns all violations of international law and international humanitarian law. 

HRIC opposes violence against civilians, whether at the hands of Hamas or the Israeli forces where there is no regard for the principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality, as these constitute war crimes. 

HRIC condemns the heinous attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas perpetrated on 7 October and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas and other groups. 

The civilian population in Gaza is particularly suffering due to the withholding of essential supplies such as food, water, electricity, and medicines. HRIC recognizes international starvation as a crime against humanity. Considering the catastrophic humanitarian situation and the enormous death toll in Gaza, we urge an immediate ceasefire to alleviate civilians’ suffering. We also call on the Italian authorities and the European Union to work to ensure that human rights are respected and the foundations for a long-lasting peace are laid.

HRIC also unequivocally denounces and condemns all manifestations of antisemitism and Islamophobia. Discrimination based on religious or ethnic identity not only violates the fundamental rights of individuals but also erodes the foundations of a just and equitable society. HRIC recognizes the importance of combating these prejudices to ensure that everyone enjoys the right to live free from fear, discrimination, and persecution.

In these tragic circumstances, we call on all companies to meet their responsibility to respect human rights. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) elaborated clear requirements, yet businesses’ responses are still insufficient. In particular, HRIC calls on companies in the tech sector to take immediate and meaningful action to:

- Carry out “enhanced” human rights due diligence processes to understand how company action may impact the ongoing crisis and take decisive actions to mitigate such risks;

- Counter disinformation by moderating social platforms to remove hate speech and any form of discrimination, while resisting imposed censorship;

- Inform affected individuals and the public how the company is managing the conflict and human rights risks identified; 

- Build and use their leverage to prevent, mitigate, and address adverse human rights impacts associated with their business activities. 

(Photo: Mohammed Ibrahim - Unsplash)

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