Are you invested in severe violations of human rights? Are you in business with a company complicit in violations of international law or war crimes? What is your exposure to the growing risks that arise as a result of controversial business activity in the occupied Palestinian territory or in mass incarceration in the U.S.?
The “Investigate" investment screening tool scans any list of holdings for corporations complicit in any of the following:
- Our Prisons screen: supply of privatized services to the prison industry
- Our Occupation screen: violations of human rights and international humanitarian law as part of the Israeli occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory.
- Our Military screen: supply of major weaponry consistently used in war crimes in Israel/ Palestine
The tool identifies specific human rights abuses and provides information on initiatives taken by responsible investors around the world to influence and change that corporate behavior. It lists information not easily obtainable elsewhere, about the relevant industries and about the public campaigns targeting them, including a summary of all published engagements and divestment actions.
The information provided is based on our new independent research. We think it may fill identified gaps in industry ratings and hope it would help responsible investors integrate new information into existing human rights screens and expand their ability to influence corporate policies. With growing concerns about these issues among students, taith communities, and institutional investors worldwide, we hope to help create a universal standard of corporate commitment to respect human rights.
As the tool continues to develop we will work to improve its functionality. We hope that users of the tool will contact us to let us know how to improve it to better meet their needs.
How to use this tool?
Step One: Identify the issue you want to scan for, or the screen you wish to use. By default the tool will look for all relevant information, but you may choose to limit the search to one issue.
Step Two: Upload, type, or copy and paste a list of holdings into the tool. Word documents, PDFs, excel files and other documents are all supported. The tool will identify corporate holdings included in the uploaded file or text by name, ticker or ISIN.
Step Three: Press the scan button and the document or text you have uploaded will be compared to our database. The tool will then produce a report of all companies on your list of holdings which are involved any of the human rights issues searched for.
Step Four: Review your results. These are the companies that merit your attention and perhaps action. Clicking on any one company name will provide you with information about the company’s specific involvement in violations of human rights, as well as information about actions taken by other responsible investors and links to information about relevant public campaigns aimed at changing the company's behavior.
Step Five: For large documents, we have included a feature that allows you to “view occurrences” to see where in the original document the identified companies appear. This feature can be used to identify which funds contain particular companies and the value of investments. You may also select a range of pages to scan, limiting your search to one part of the document.
For more information how to use the tool, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions, you can watch our online webinar here.
What should you do about it?
If you are invested in any of the companies on our screens, you should definitely do something about it. As an investor, you have the responsibility as well as the power to take action. In most instances we do not advocate a particular action; we hope that the information provided would allow investors to decide on actions they could take, ranging from corporate engagement and proxy voting to divestment.
We do recommend divestment from a limited number of companies. These companies have been blacklisted by other institutional investors around the world following a process that considered their ongoing business practices, the extent of their involvement in the particular risky business, as well as the status of communication with these companies regarding these concerns. We constantly examine relevant developments with the goal of keeping our divestment recommendation list up-to-date.
Our database was developed using independent, primary research which took advantage of public, legal documents as well as corporate and government publications. We link to further information from other sources whenever possible.
The Occupation screen is based on the WhoProfits.org database, a publication of Who Profits from the Occupation, an independent Israeli research center.
Please contact us with any queries, corrections or additions.
Occupation-Free investment options
Socially responsible investors consider social criteria as well as financial results in their investment decisions. Many socially responsible funds screen out major weapons manufacturers and companies with poor records of environmental or labor protection. However, corporate complicity in severe human rights violations in Israel/Palestine is often not taken into account explicitly in these considerations.
To check the status of your mutual fund investments go to the fund providers' website to obtain the latest report with a list of holdings and scan the report with our tool. The scan results will reflect the status of your fund at the date of the report, use them as a first indication to see if you might be invested in severe human rights violations in Israel/ Palestine. Once you have completed your initial scan you can contact your fund providers to ask for an updated list of holdings and to share with them your specific concerns.
If your fund is socially responsible, ask your money managers if they screen for human rights abuses and violations of international law in Israel/Palestine. Suggest they use our tool to identify corporate violators and incorporate our information into their decision making process. Information about corporate violations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory has not been readily accessible to investors until recently.
Finally, it is important to note that many of the companies engaged in problematic business practices in the occupied Palestinian territory and in the prison industry are also involved in problematic practices elsewhere. As a result, a number of socially responsible funds are already Prison and Occupation-Free, meaning they currently have no investments in the main corporate violators in Israel/Palestine or the prison industry. See our latest list of prison and occupation-free mutual funds here.
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