Methodology Used in Research on Corporate Operations in Occupied Territories: Crimea and Palestine

Over the past six months, EIRIS Conflict Risk Network has conducted research in five languages – English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Ukrainian. Our findings go through extensive quality and consistency controls. All companies cited were provided with the opportunity to respond to our research in advance of its release. Final entries reflect these responses. Information in the database is updated every six months, in part because we expect to find new and additional information. In fact, our website makes it easy to contact us with comments and concerns. We very much welcome such input.  

EIRIS Conflict Risk Network’s research is independent of all inappropriate influence and provides clients with an objective assessment of corporate activity in Crimea and Palestine. In compiling this database, our researchers used the following sources:  

  • Regular news monitoring of local and international media outlets;
  • Reports and other materials from:
    • The United Nations;
    • Civil society organizations in Crimea and Palestine and internationally;
    • Sector-specific initiatives such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights or the Global Network Initiative;
    • Other experts;
  • Company websites, annual reports, sustainability reports, news, filings, others’ websites and information accessible through Bloomberg LP;
  • Industry publications;
  • Information provided to EIRIS Conflict Risk Network by companies themselves.  

Companies and activities in the database are as of May 31, 2015.

 

Definitions and Geographic Scope

This project focuses on corporate operations and activity in occupied territories by researching the presence of companies in two occupied territories—Crimea and Palestine. In determining that these two territories are occupied, we defer to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and relevant UN agencies.

  • In the case of Crimea, the UN General Assembly voted on March 14, 2014, not to recognize changes in the status of the Crimea region.
  • In the case of Palestine, the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) affirmed in its advisory opinion of July 9, 2004, that Palestine is occupied.  

In order to determine the geographic parameters of the occupied territories, we have followed the guidelines established and applied by the UN and other intergovernmental entities. An occupied territory is by definition a territory that is under dispute, and geographic borders generally form part of that dispute.

  • In the case of Crimea, research focuses on the entire peninsula – both the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.
  • In the case of Palestine, research focuses on the territory enclosed by the 1967 borders, which are those territories taken by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War—the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In connection with the Palestinian right to self-determination, UN Resolution 58/292 of 2004 affirmed that the independent State of Palestine should be based on the pre-1967 borders.  

When presenting research on corporate activity in the West Bank, we will not specify in which area (A, B or C as defined in the 1995 Oslo II Accord) the companies are located because, according to the 2004 ICJ ruling, all of the West Bank is considered to be occupied.  

There is high public interest in these two geographically distinct occupations, which are located in the regions where most of today’s occupied territories are concentrated: the former Soviet Union and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We want to be clear -- the research recognizes that these two occupations resulted from distinct historical and current circumstances that share few characteristics. We do not seek to analyse these differences or to prescribe particular actions to end the occupations.  

 

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Criteria for Including Companies

Two criteria must be met to find a place in our database:  

  1. A company must have public exposure, AND
  2. A company must have local presence in either Crimea or Palestine.   

Public Exposure

A company is considered to be publicly exposed if it is traded on a stock market or has outstanding corporate bonds.  

Local Presence  

No ownership thresholds are employed. The focus is on presence on the ground in either or both of the occupied territories, based on convincing evidence from reputable, publicly available information that confirms that the company:  

  • Has a local physical presence with operations in the occupied lands, e.g.
    • Store
    • Branch
    • Franchise
    • Factory
    • Depot or warehouse
    • Office

    AND/OR

  • Conducts activity (D/B/O) related to a local project in the occupied lands, e.g.
    • Financing
    • Designing
    • Building
    • Operating

AND/OR

  • Has a contract requiring regular or frequent on-site personnel visits to the occupied lands, e.g.
    • Maintaining equipment
    • Training operators of equipment
    • Providing other services

AND/OR

  • Provides a service marketed from outside but delivered inside the boundaries of the occupied lands, e.g.
    • Transportation to / from occupied lands
    • Rental cars targeted for use in occupied lands
    • Tourism
    • Cargo transport through / into / out of occupied lands

 

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Database Filters

Public Company

The name of the publicly exposed company closest to the business activity in the occupied land. This company may be part of a larger corporate structure.

Country of Domicile

The country of domicile of the public company.  

Local Company

The name of the company operating in the occupied land.  

City

The location of business within the occupied territory.  In the case of agricultural concerns, the most proximate city/town will be named. 

Status

The only field that is regionally specific.  

Crimea:

There are three possible statuses for each local company – open, closed, nationalized:  

  • Open: Business operations are ongoing. 
  • Closed: Business operations have been suspended due to international sanctions imposed on Crimea following the Russian occupation in March 2014.  
  • Nationalized: Businesses were nationalized by the Russian government following the occupation. Some of these businesses had previously been Ukrainian government entities, some publicly-traded and some private companies.  

Palestine:

There are two possible statuses for each local company – settlement or non-settlement:  

  • Settlement: Used to describe areas in Palestine in which Israelis live and work, in violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from moving its own civilian population onto occupied lands as permanent residents.  
  • Non-Settlement: Used to describe areas in Palestine in which Palestinians live and work.  

Sector

Pertains to operations in the occupied territories, specified using “Supersector” designations in the ICB Sector Classification System.  

Activity

Pertains to operations in the occupied territories, specified using “Subsector” designations in the ICB Sector Classification System.  

Notes

Description of operations in the occupied territories, significant alliances and relevant corporate structures.


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