Border and Surveillance Industries pose human rights and reputational risks for investors
There are no social or economic benefits when migrants suffer human rights abuses and injustices.
As global migration expands, spurred by climate change, conflicts, instability and poverty, investors must engage with companies and governments to support human rights-based governance of people crossing borders in search of safety and security.
The present approach by governments of devolving border surveillance and security to private technology and security firms to monitor, pushback, detain and return migrants is ripe with the potential for human rights abuses as the news reminds us daily. Moreover, it poses reputational and legal risks for investors in these companies. PRI signatories and other investors committed to respecting human rights and supporting robust public policy responses to climate change have a vital role to play in reframing public narratives on global migration.
Investors should act as good stewards and clarify their expectations for the Border and Surveillance Industries (BSI), with a particular focus on migrant rights. To enable action, Preventable Surprises’ Border and Surveillance Industries Stewardship Project is convening global investors to develop systematic strategies for engagement with companies, industry associations and governments involved in global migration control and the securitisation of borders. Our new discussion note highlights risks and areas for investor action across the sector. Border and Surveillance Industries cut across sectors, from BigTech to private prison operators and audit and advisory firms.
Simple questions investors can ask today
Investors should ask BSI companies to explain their human rights policy and the alignment of this policy with the lobbying position of trade associations to which they belong in respect of human rights and international refugee law.
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