Most Americans are not aware that their investments may have ties to genocide. While a minority of individual investors might choose to knowingly invest in such companies, the majority of investors should not have that choice made for them by their investment firms without their knowledge and against their preferences.
Presently, even the most motivated and enlightened investors face multiple challenges when attempting to avoid investments tied to genocide. Few people research the details of their mutual funds or other investments; they simply trust their investment company to make sound choices on their behalf. Individual investors who do attempt this research discover that it is a daunting task to determine which companies have ties to genocide, so that they can avoid those companies. Further complicating the task are the facts that even “recent” reports of a company or fund’s portfolio holdings are likely to be months out of date and individuals have no assurance that their mutual fund managers will not invest in the problem companies in the future. In the case of 401k investments,
individuals are limited by the number of funds offered in their 401k plan and may have no good options. When available, investors might choose Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds, but these are not offered by many 401k plans and may be more limited in the diversity of their offerings. Lastly, investors who would like to choose low-priced index funds are severely limited, since the international and emerging markets indices often include even the worst offending companies.
Only if management makes a commitment to genocide-free investing and implements supporting procedures can investors be confident that they are not inadvertently complicit in supporting genocide and crimes against humanity.
Financial institutions, by instituting a simple investment policy, would exert their considerable influence to encourage companies to demonstrate good records regarding the most severe human rights problems.
Few of us want our personal savings connected to genocide. Even so, financial firms like JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity, Vanguard and many others invest their customers’ money in companies that help fund the ongoing genocide in Sudan.
While ethical investing may mean different things to different people, don’t you agree that financial firms should draw the line at helping to support genocide?
Help us change the status quo on Wall Street. Together we can end investments in genocide.
Investors Against Genocide is a citizen-led initiative, dedicated to convincing mutual funds and other investment firms to make an ongoing commitment to genocide-free investing.
Investors Against Genocide works with individuals, financial firms, pension and endowment managers and government officials to encourage investment firms to change their investing strategy to avoid investments in companies that substantially contribute to genocide or crimes against humanity.
Investors Against Genocide is a project of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, incorporated in the state of Massachusetts.
Since the government-sponsored genocide in Sudan continues, we advocate for investment firms to avoid or divest holdings of the four foreign oil companies that are the largest business partners with the government of Sudan. These four companies are PetroChina/CNPC, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation/Sinopec, ONGC and Petronas. Looking forward, we advocate for investment firms to make an ongoing commitment to genocide-free investing policies that would apply to future genocides or crimes against humanity.
Our goal is to make the U.S. financial investment industry more responsive to the American public’s interest in not having their savings connected to the most egregious violations of human rights.
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