Norway's Oljefondet encouraged to divest from 'immensely harmful' detention camps
Written by Talya Misiri
An open letter has been launched to encourage Norway’s biggest pension fund ,Oljefondet, to divest from a company running Australia’s offshore detention camps.
Following Norway Government Pension Fund Global’s $280m investment in Ferrovial, the Spanish company completed a takeover of Australian firm Broadspectrum which has left it responsible for the running of Australia’s offshore detention sites until 2017.
As a result of this, a petition has been created to encourage the pension fund, which prides itself on responsible investments, to revoke its investment from companies operating Australia’s offshore refugee detention camps.
The camps on Manus Island and Nauru, which are notorious for their human rights abuses, positions the investment in direct conflict with ethical standards that the fund follows.
“The Norwegian pension fund has strong human rights standards for its investments. The operations on Manus Island and Nauru fail to meet those standards,” The Australia Institute business and human rights advisor Brynn O'Brien said.
“Australia’s system of offshore detention camps relies on the active participation of companies like Ferrovial. The withdrawal of support for that company from the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund would send a clear message that Norwegians want no business and no complicity in the abuse of refugees and asylum seekers.
“We are simply calling on Norway to uphold the standards it has set for itself. There is clearly an inconsistency between those standards and holding shares in a company involved in the types of human rights violations we see on Manus Island and Nauru. We are drawing Oljefondet’s attention to this inconsistency,” O’Brien said.
The petition is currently open for Norwegian citizens to sign. "If you want Norway's money out of offshore detention, please sign the petition asking Oljefondet to divest," the open letter said.