The Border and Surveillance Industries Investor Stewardship Project

Human Rights, Forceful stewardship, Corporate political capture

Preventable Surprises is pleased to launch the Border and Surveillance Industries Investor Stewardship Project. The project will bring together global institutional investors, NGOs and experts to determine how to most effectively respond to the privatisation of border security, surveillance and refugee policy. It will also identify investor stewardship and public policy engagement opportunities in support of more systematic respect for human rights and migrant rights. 

Global migration is expanding and investors need to respond

A recent UNHCR survey notes that the number of refugees under its mandate has  doubled between 2012 and 2019 to reach 26 million, out of a total global migrant population of over 270 million people. Within this larger group, around 82 million people were identified as forcibly displaced at the end of 2020 as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order. 

Investors should understand – indeed, many are well aware –  that climate change, inequalities and geopolitical instability will continue to make migration a central theme this decade and will accelerate the devolution of border security, prisons, and refugee policy to the private sector. 

Given significant risks to human rights, investors in these companies – from logistics to surveillance technology –   will need to take a position. 

Engagement opportunities

In response, Preventable Surprises will host a launch roundtable on 28 October 2021 to help investors understand the Border and Surveillance Industry and to shine a light on ongoing investor campaigns, including via shareholder resolutions at Microsoft and Thomson Reuters. Featured speakers are:

  • Emma Pullman, Capital Stewardship Officer, BC Government Employees Union
  • Dov Baum, Director of Economic Activism, American Friends Service Committee
  • Morgan Simon, Founding Partner, Candide Group

Preventable Surprises also plans to host a week long global online investor dialogue in March 2022. This dialogue will aim to comprehensively map ideas and investor strategies for engaging with companies in the tech, border security, and refugee/migrant detention and transport industries, in order to address those human rights concerns and ensure more consistent respect for migrant rights and international law.




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