Financial sectors’ association with human rights abuses of asylum seekers in Australia

A new report released by the Human Rights Law Centre and partners, details the extent of financial sector involvement in companies associated with human rights abuses in Australia’s offshore detention centres (ODC’s).

It draws attention to the company Ferrovial, a global services company. Ferrovial acquired Broadspectrum in May 2016, despite the knowledge that it was responsible for human rights abuses at the core of the offshore detention regime. Broadspectrum operates both Nauru and Manus Island detention centres. In November 2015 an expert report was released detailing horrifying abuses including beatings, violence, sexual abuse, arbitrary & indefinite detention and the resultant severe mental and physical harm inflicted upon asylum seekers and refugees within the ODCs during Broadspectrum’s provision of services (( Lawyers Alliance: No Business in Abuse, October 2015  )).

The report by the Human Rights Law Centre investigates the financial institutions linked to the company Ferrovial, establishing that a number of banks have invested in Ferrovial despite the documented human rights abuses. The financial institutions include Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management, Deutsche Investment Management America, Deutsche Asset Management Investment as well as the UK’s JP Morgen, Royal London and Columbia Threadneedle Investment. On the 26th February a consortium of 22 banks funded a loan to Ferrovial of €1.25 bn, again this consortium included European banks, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and BNP Paribas among others.

The report concludes that: “Given the overwhelming evidence of severe and systemic human rights violations in the ODCs, and the limited capacity of financiers or Ferrovial to mitigate the harm, Ferrovial’s financiers that have provided direct finance to support the Broadspectrum takeover, or that have provided general corporate loans to Ferrovial, should exit their relationship with Ferrovial and make a public statement recording that decision.”

The full report is available here:

More information is also available in the Banktrack database.