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No business in abuse No Business In Abuse

About Us

We have just released our latest report, Association with Abuse: The financial sector's association with gross human rights abuses of people seeking asylum in Australia – use the button below to read the full document.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE JULY 2016 REPORT

Released in 2015: No Business in Abuse report into Transfield's (now Broadspectrum, owned by Ferrovial) complicity in abuse

CLICK HERE TO READ THE 2015 REPORT

Australians are coming together to stop corporations profiting from human suffering in Australia's detention centres.

Find out more about No Business in Abuse

No Business in Abuse (NBIA) is a new project focusing on corporate complicity in abuses within Australia's immigration system. NBIA and GetUp have formed a partnership to power a broad, people-powered movement to shine a light on the corporations making money from an abusive detention system and to take practical actions to end it.
Misha ColemanChair of No Business in Abuse – Executive Officer, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce
Jacob Varghese – Partner, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Luke Hilakari – Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall
Waleed Mussa – Refugee advocate
Sr Brigid Arthur csb – Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
Shen NarayanasamyExecutive Director, No Business in Abuse / Human Rights Campaign Director, GetUp
Shen NarayanasamyExecutive Director, No Business in Abuse / Human Rights Campaign Director, GetUp

Business and Human Rights Research and Engagement
Brynn O'Brien – Business and Human Rights Technical Adviser
Rachel Ball - International Advocacy Lead
Claire Parfitt – Research Lead

Public Campaign
Aurora Adams – Campaigner, GetUp
Katie Hepworth – Community Campaigner
Matthew Phillips - Community Campaigner
Damian Spruce – Engagement Lead

In the modern economy, no company operates in a vacuum. Corporations all over Australia work together to provide the financial bedrock upon which the appalling detention regime is built. But while they are the foundation of this abusive incarceration system, we are the foundation of their business model.

We invest in them, either as individuals, or through our banks and super funds. We hire them to service our schools, hospitals and businesses. We consume products sold by their most valued clients and investors and we park our cars in their carparks. The network of money that keeps abuse in business is huge – but we're at the centre of it.

The No Business in Abuse campaign is based upon a simple truth – most Australians agree that companies should:
  • Have zero tolerance for child abuse
  • Respect people's fundamental rights to freedom from arbitrary and indefinite detention
  • Not treat people in a cruel, inhumane or degrading manner
  • Commit to transparency and independent monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld
Ultimately, the No Business in Abuse campaign is working to transform the Australian market – so companies who fail to uphold these principles and profit from abuse are forced to choose between Australia's violent detention regime and a profitable business model.

Here's what's going to happen in the next few months:

  • Tens of thousands of Australians will sign the pledge – and show the companies profiting from abuse that they have been completely rejected by the people they need to survive.

  • Then we'll make that rejection hit home, by drying up their potential investor and client market. Hundreds of us will start petitions targeting strategic businesses and institutions, asking them to pledge never to contract with companies like Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield), unless they clean up their act.

Tens of thousands of individual Australians, backed up by local businesses and institutions, will be sending a loud and clear message to corporations like Transfield: being complicit in abuse has consequences.

Along the way, we'll keep the pressure up in every way we can, as investors, customers and community members. There will be tons of opportunities to take action, and they'll happen at every level, from local communities to the national stage.

Transfield (now called Broadspectrum) put out a Statement on No Business in Abuse, defending their human rights record - download their Statement and our response in full here: NBIA Response to Transfield Statement

FAQ

We hereby declare that we will only support companies, institutions and organisations that refuse to support or profit from abusive practices towards people seeking asylum.

A company that is not abusive is one which:



Has zero tolerance for child abuse.

The overarching finding of the Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry 'Forgotten Children', was that the prolonged, mandatory detention of asylum seeker children causes them significant mental and physical illness and developmental delays, in clear violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. On the basis of these findings, the Commission recommended that all children and their families be released from immigration detention.

In addition, children are at increased risk of physical and sexual abuse in detention. Numerous incidents of abuse of children have been outlined in the Australian Government-commissioned independent review by Phillip Moss, and submitted as evidence to the Senate Select Committee on the conditions of detention on Nauru.[1] The Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has said that "institutions operating without accountability, or with accountability only to themselves," those "operating in physically isolated places," and having operational or funding systems beyond the range of normal scrutiny were all factors that significantly increased the risk of child abuse.[2] Offshore detention, in particular, fits these indicators and is not an appropriate environment for children.

No company should be involved in activities which cause significant and predictable harm to children. Companies must not hold children and their families in immigration detention.


Respects people's fundamental rights to freedom from arbitrary and indefinite detention.

Arbitrary detention' is clearly barred under various human rights standards, including Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The current system of detaining asylum seekers in offshore and onshore centers clearly amounts to 'arbitrary detention', a finding confirmed numerous times by domestic and international human rights bodies. In order for the system not to constitute arbitrary detention it:
  • Cannot be mandatory or automatic;
  • Cannot be open-ended or indefinite;
  • Must provide a robust and transparent individual assessment mechanism to determine whether the immigration detention of each person is necessary, reasonable or proportionate;
  • Must provide for anyone deprived of their liberty to be able to challenge their detention in a court. To comply with Article 9(4) of the ICCPR, that court must have the power to order the person's release if their detention is found to be arbitrary and in breach of article 9(1) of the ICCPR.


Does not treat people in a cruel, inhumane or degrading manner

All people have a fundamental right to humane treatment in detention (Article 10, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and a right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 7, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Articles 1 and 16 of the UN Convention Against Torture). The current system of detention has been found to amount to a breach of the aforementioned articles.

In 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture stated that "by failing to provide adequate detention conditions; end the practice of detention of children; and put a stop to the escalating violence and tension at the Regional Processing Centre, has violated the right of the asylum seekers, including children, to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as provided by articles 1 and 16 of the [Convention Against Torture]."


Commits to transparency and independent monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld

Independent monitoring, and the ability of asylum seekers to make complaints to independent monitors, is essential for the prevention of torture and the protection of other human rights.

This is recognised in many international and regional human rights instruments and in Australian legislation.

All immigration facilities should allow monitoring by independent bodies, including the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Australian Red Cross. The purpose of this monitoring includes ensuring that immigration facilities are administered in accordance with international obligations and with relevant statutory requirements. All asylum seekers must be able to communicate freely and in full confidentiality with monitoring bodies and any other person of their choosing, including legal representatives and members of the media.


We oppose arbitrary detention; by definition, this includes mandatory detention.

'Arbitrary detention' is clearly barred under various human rights standards, including Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The current system of detaining asylum seekers in offshore and onshore centers clearly amounts to 'arbitrary detention', a finding confirmed numerous times by domestic and international human rights bodies. In order for the system not to constitute arbitrary detention it:
  • Cannot be mandatory or automatic;
  • Cannot be open-ended or indefinite;
  • Must provide a robust and transparent individual assessment mechanism to determine whether the immigration detention of each person is necessary, reasonable or proportionate;
  • Must provide for anyone deprived of their liberty to be able to challenge their detention in a court. To comply with Article 9(4) of the ICCPR, that court must have the power to order the person's release if their detention is found to be arbitrary and in breach of article 9(1) of the ICCPR.
In a word – yes.

Currently, the detention of people in the offshore centres causes them to be arbitrarily detained, for an indefinite and prolonged period of time, in cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions, in utter secrecy. This is completely unacceptable, and no company should be profiting from servicing these centres.

The people that have been detained in the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres have already been exposed to gross human rights abuses. Those people are entitled to justice for the abuse they have suffered, and need to be brought to Australia immediately and allowed access to the Australian legal system.

It's not enough that any individual detention centre is closed or a single company refuses to be involved – the fundamental human rights abuses inherent in the many incarnations of this system need to be clearly outlined and rejected.

The NBIA pledge outlines a values basis for all people and institutions in our community. It ensures that we, as a society, hold to the fundamental values of humanity, that will ensure our current detention centres cannot reincarnate, under different names, in different places or with different companies.

Media enquiries
Please contact Adrian Dodd
0401 726 476
adrian@getup.org.au

Contact No Business in Abuse
Have questions or tips for the No Business in Abuse team? Get in touch with us at community@nobusinessinabuse.org