Subvertising campaign at King's Cross, one of London's most popular transit sites
G4S is a British-Danish private security company that operates in over 120 countries; it is the largest security company in the world. G4S is notorious for operating private prisons and providing deportation services internationally and it is heavily involved in the Israeli occupation industry.
G4S Israel provides security apparatus, surveillance systems, and maintenance services to Israeli incarceration facilities inside Israel and the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian political prisoners are held in violation of international law and child rights treaties. The company provides scanners to Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza; checkpoints are a form of population control and severely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement and economic development in the oPt. Additionally, the company provides security services in illegal Israeli settlements.
In the United States, G4S operates privatized juvenile detention facilities. G4S works alongside Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to detain and deport people across the U.S./Mexico border and transport ICE detainees to ICE detention facilities throughout the country. Worldwide, their operation of private prisons and deportation centers makes them a controversial company, especially in light of the numerous documented inhumane practices at these facilities as well as multiple accounts of labor abuses against G4S employees. G4S also provides security services to major corporations such as the Bank of America.
In March 2011, G4S issued a statement which outlined their plans to abide by human rights and international law in respect to Israel/Palestine. However, G4S will continue contracts providing security equipment to Israeli prison facilities in the West Bank and in Israel. The company will also continue providing security equipment and personnel to businesses in West Bank Israeli settlements. This prompted an external investigation and massive criticism from many organizations and politicians. In turn, G4S undertook an internal investigation, leading to another statement in April 2012. Here, they conclude in order to ensure that “our business practices remain in line with our own Business Ethics Policy; we would aim to exit a number of contracts which involved the servicing of security equipment at the barrier checkpoints, a prison and a police station in the West Bank.” However, as DanWatch, Investigative Journalism on Corporate Ethics, points out, the timeline given for exiting these contracts is between 2012 and 2015 and to date, no contracts have been cancelled. Additionally, after 2015 G4S will still be involved in services to the illegal settlements and to four prisons holding Palestinian security prisons.