Norway’s largest pension fund, KLP, excludes British security company G4S from investments due to risk of human rights violations.
– G4S operates in countries such as Qatar and United Arab Emirates where there is a risk of violating renown norms from the international labour organization ILO, says Jeanett Bergan, head of responsible investments at KLP.
She elaborates that there is a common practice in these countries that force migrant workers to take up loans to pay fees in order to get to their jobs. Because of these unfair loans, migrant workers have less room to challenge terms of employment they did not expect when they signed on.
Migrant workers in these countries are usually tied to contracts for two years or more. Regulations in Qatar and UAE makes it possible for migrant workers to terminate their work contract, but does not allow them to change their employer.
– G4S does not accept that migrant workers can change employer during their contract period. This limits their freedom, says Bergan.
KLP’s decision follows Norway’s Council of Ethics’ recommendation which recently led to Norway’s trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund to exclude G4S. KLP usually follows the Council of Ethics, but always makes their own assessments.
– The Council of Ethics’ recommendation is well grounded, therefore KLP don’t see any reason not to follow it, says Bergan.
As a result of KLP’s decision, KLP has sold securities in G4S valued at 31,4 million Norwegian kroner.