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A CHILDREN’S charity in Britain is accepting money linked to human rights violations, Palestinian rights campaigners have said.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has taken more than £5 million from bulldozer manufacturer JCB.
A small group of activists handed in an 1,800-strong petition to the charity’s London headquarters on Tuesday
Rights campaigner Ann Wright, 76, said: “The NSPCC was founded to prevent cruelty to children but it takes money from JCB, which derives profits from inflicting cruelty on Palestinian children: it doesn’t make sense.”
She explained that JCB sells its bulldozers to Comasco, the Israeli company which carries out Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing.
The vehicles have demolished houses and tents, clinics and schools and have ripped out hundreds of thousands of fruit trees in the occupied Palestinian territories.
JCB is one of a handful of British companies so far identified by the UN as profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
Rights lawyers have succeeded in the first stage of calling the company to account for its human rights abuses under Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development regulations.
Ms Wright said: “These [Palestinian] little ones are traumatised by watching their homes bulldozed while their parents look on helplessly.
“The dozers also rip up olive and other fruit trees, so the whole family is plunged into poverty for good measure.
“We think the NSPCC should sever its link with JCB.”
Eleven-year-old Zino Masoud, whose father is a Palestinian refugee, said: “Imagine if your house was demolished and all your safety and belongings are destroyed too; shouldn’t NSPCC try to stop this?”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “JCB employees, their family and friends play an important role in supporting our local work in Staffordshire. They have raised money for our therapeutic services in Stoke on Trent, which has helped many children rebuild their lives after sexual abuse.
“We take all concerns about donations seriously, especially when the wellbeing of children is involved, and have looked carefully and closely at this issue. We have concluded that JCB cannot be held responsible for what happens to equipment once it has been legally sold and resold.
“Above all, as our guidance demands, we ask ourselves if a donation is in the best interests of the charity and at our last review, we decided it was.”
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