AFSC has a long history of engagement in socially responsible investment action, engaging in campaigns and work linked to civil rights, anti-apartheid, farm worker, nuclear disarmament, anti-militarism, and prison rights struggles. At present AFSC has SRI screens in place that restrict the investment of AFSC funds in arms industries and companies that support militarism, nuclear industries, companies involved with prison privatization, and companies that produce tobacco and alcohol among other products.
Divestment from the Prison Industry
We hope that the research presented in this publication will help investors refrain from any investment in the prison industry, unless they intend to use it for corporate engagement and shareholder activism to help companies change their policies and transition out of this industry.
The American Friends Service Committee does not invest in any company that owns, operates or manages prisons, however the size of that business. Additionally, we avoid investments in companies whose primary business involves the design or construction of prisons.
We have profiled in this publication the main companies complicit in on-going human rights violations as part of the U.S. for-profit prison industry. Among those companies, we have highlighted as divestment targets:
- Companies that own, operate or manage prisons
- Companies whose primary business is in the for-profit prison industry
- Companies that prove to be unresponsive to public and investor pressure.
This list will be continuously reviewed and adjusted based on these companies’ operations and responsiveness.
Divestment from the Israeli Occupation
In response to a request from AFSC’s Israeli and Palestinian staff who asked that the organizations align its investments with its Principles for a Just and Lasting Peace in Palestine and Israel, and after extensive debate, AFSC’s board approved an internal investment screen which prohibits investment in any company that:
- Provides products or services that contribute to violent acts that target either Israeli or Palestinian civilians
- Provides products or services that contribute to the maintenance of the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
- Provides products or services that contribute to the maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories
- Provides products or services that contribute to the maintenance and construction of the Separation Wall.
We see our SRI work as support for actions that appeal to conscience; actions that seek to raise awareness in those engaged or complicit in harmful practices of the impact of their actions. We view SRI work as a way to keep us accountable to our values and actions that affirm our common humanity and that can bring change to improve respect for human rights.
The companies on this list were identified as targets for divestment through a process that considered their business practices in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, past and ongoing communication with these companies regarding concerns about these business practices, and the status of ongoing divestment campaigns targeting these companies.
Africa Israel Group, Bank Hapoalim B.M., Bank Leumi, Cellcom Israel Ltd., Danya Cebus Ltd., Elbit Systems Ltd., First International Bank of Israel Ltd., Israel Discount Bank Ltd., Magal Security Systems Ltd., Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd., Shikun uBinui Ltd.