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14 Jan 2019

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Corporate support for Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy prompts shareholder resolutions in 2019

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[M]embers of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility announced a group of six shareholder resolutions filed at companies across the private prison, technology, banking and defense sectors deemed at risk for human rights violations as a result of government contracts that support President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy... All the resolutions cite concerns over potential human rights violations as set forth by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)... he investors argue that human rights risks related to the “zero tolerance” policy are both serious and material and are calling for increased due diligence to assess and address real and potential human rights impacts they may be contributing or directly linked to, through U.S. federal government contracts... Mary Beth Gallagher of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, who led the filing at Amazon [said] “Our resolution requests that Amazon prohibit sales of facial recognition technology to government agencies unless it concludes, after an evaluation using independent evidence, that the technology does not materially violate civil and human rights.” ... Financial institutions which provide access to capital and financial support to industries must implement robust human rights due diligence processes to ensure that they do not contribute to human rights violations or become directly linked to violations through their business relationships with the U.S. government.