HESTA divests from Transfield Services
Australian firm HESTA, the 'super fund for health and community services', has divested from Transfield Services over its links with detention centre abuses.
Evidence has been presented which links centres operated by Transfield Services, such as the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru, with numerous sexual and physical assaults.
The Australian government's offshore detention centres have faced numerous accusations of covering up evidence of sexual assaults, child abuse, and other human rights violations. For example, the 'Border Force Act,' which came into effect on July 1st, makes it illegal for healthcare professionals to report child sexual abuse in offshore detention centres.
HESTA concluded, after trying to conduct its own investigations, that having investments in Transfield Services was too risky, resulting in all shareholdings being divested. The fund was reported to have previously owned a 3 per cent stake, valued in excess of $18 million.
Debby Blakey, CEO of HESTA stated: "A substantial body of evidence is available pointing to the negative impacts of prolonged mandatory detention of asylum seekers, both the United Nations and the Australian Human Rights Commission are among respected authorities that have said it is a breach of human rights laws..."
She added, "We believe it is highly likely that the social governance issues associated with its detention centre contracts will have a negative impact on Transfield's business and share price, so have concluded it was in the best financial interests of our members to divest the stake."
For more information about the human rights abuses perpetrated in some of Australia's detention camps visit www.amnesty.org.au
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