Tuesday, July 21, 2015

EIRIS Foundation launches database of companies doing business in occupied lands of Palestine and Crimea

In an effort to improve transparency as well as to provide objective ethical finance information, the EIRIS Foundation has launched a new online database of companies operating in the occupied territories of Crimea and Palestine. 

"For the first time, businesses, civil society, media and the investor community will have access to objective and comprehensive information about corporate operations in these two occupied territories," EIRIS said in a release announcing the project. 

The project was undertaken by the EIRIS Conflict Risk Network, putting to use its extensive expertise gained by studying the interplay between corporate activity and conflict in Sudan and Burma/Myanmar. International law recognizes occupation as a form of conflict, and occupying governments use economic activity to help secure and maintain control of territories, EIRIS noted.

“The EIRIS Foundation has a history of empowering responsible investors and others with the provision of independent data on a wide variety of company activities. With the release of our analysis and database of corporate activity in Crimea and Palestine, we expand on that expertise,said Kathy Mulvey, director of EIRIS Conflict Risk Network. “Until now, investors have had little access to objective information about corporate presence and operations in the occupied territories of Crimea and Palestine. Publication of this database of companies active in these regions has begun to address this lack of access.”

The EIRIS research focuses on corporate activities, Mulvey added, which is of great interest to those seeking to avoid fostering or promoting violence in conflict zones. “This information was not publicly available until now.”

In determining that these regions are occupied, the EIRIS Foundation deferred to the United Nations General Assembly and relevant UN agencies, which have voted not to recognize changes in the status of the Crimea region and affirmed that Palestine is occupied.

In Crimea, the database contains 27 publicly-listed companies (companies with stocks and/or bonds) that are open for business, 20 that have closed due to international sanctions, and 25 that have been nationalized since the occupation.

In Palestine, the database contains 80 publicly-listed companies in settlements and 70 publicly-listed companies in non-settlement areas. The Coca-Cola Company, Daimler, Expedia, Hewlett-Packard, Priceline Group and Yum! Brands are the only six companies active in both settlement and non-settlement areas of Palestine.


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