By ISOBEL ARMSTRONG.
Amnesty International has reported the complicit involvement of multinational corporations in Australia’s offshore detention camps.
Spanish multinational Ferrovial was deemed complicit in a series of gross human rights abuses through its acquirement of Broadspectrum, a publicly listed corporation that provides operations, maintenance and infrastructure development to the facilities management sector.
Broadspectrum (now Ferrovial) carry out operations on Nauru. The Australian government has not assigned a contractor to operate the camps at the close of Ferrovial’s contract in October 2017.
Amnesty International’s report (found here) requests that the office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court launch an investigation into Ferrovial.
The request follows a long history of human rights abuses on Australian offshore detention encampments, including suicide, murder, and child sexual abuse.
Co-director of GetUp’s No Business In Abuse campaign Matthew Phillps said Amnesty’s report serves as a warning to any organisation considering taking on contracts inside the government’s abusive offshore detention regime.
“Doing so would make them complicit in gross human rights abuse, and the target of a global campaign.”
Ferrovial recently issued a response to the Amnesty International report.
The company considers that Broadspectrum is being held responsible for a range of matters well outside its scope, since it does not manage the centres and has no power to decide on the status of the people concerned. It confines itself to providing safe living conditions, covering such aspects as food, housing, education, maintenance and cleaning. This work is similar to that performed in the past by NGOs such as Save the Children and the Salvation Army. The people in question have freedom of movement-they are living in open centres and have access to telecommunications and internet. Many of them have already attained refugee status, they have jobs and are integrated into the community.
You can read more about the No Business In Abuse (NBIA) campaign here.