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5 Dec 2016

Brynn O’Brien, Australia Institute

Report: Ill-treatment of asylum seekers in offshore immigration camps makes Norges Bank’s investment in Ferrovial & Broadspectrum risky

“Companies and the Australian immigration detention system: Profiting from human rights abuse,” November 2016

There is overwhelming evidence of ongoing, grave human rights abuses occurring in Australia’s system of offshore immigration camps…People seeking asylum, as well as those found to be refugees, are detained arbitrarily and indefinitely and exposed to cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions…Australia outsources the operations…to companies. It is not possible for these companies to meet the most basic human rights standards…and investors in these companies are associated with…risks of human rights abuses. This paper surveys recent developments within the contract network that supports the operation of the offshore detention camps, and the consequences of those developments for the corporations directly involved as well as their financial stakeholders…Ferrovial took responsibility for the system’s operation contracts earlier this year, when it acquired…Broadspectrum. Importantly, Ferrovial knew about the human rights abuses…One of Ferrovial’s biggest investors is the Norwegian Pension Fund…Although the Fund divested from Broadspectrum in 2015, Ferrovial later acquired Broadspectrum. As such, the Fund is once again exposed to the risks associated with…these detention camps…