Common shareholder advocacy action priorities for member provinces of the National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility are to address the economic impact on these justice issues.
Communities, businesses and ecosystems throughout the world depend on clean freshwater to survive and prosper. Yet, as global demand for freshwater continues to grow, rising pollution and depletion levels are causing many water sources to show signs of stress. The United Nations warns that in the coming decades, over half the world will live in water scarce regions. Freshwater availability, quality, and affordability are critical problems that require faithful engagement to find solutions to the global crisis of water sustainability.
Promoting Human Rights
“The cornerstone of the Universal Declaration is the acknowledgement of human dignity: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. These rights are civil and political, as well as social, economic and cultural; all are indivisible, inalienable and universal. Taken together, these basic human rights are essential for protecting the life of each individual and helping that life to be more fully human, as well as for a just and peaceful world.”
– Statement by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 1998
Oil, gas, and other mining companies often operate in places of extreme poverty, repressive governments, civil conflict, weak rule of law, endemic corruption, or poor labor and environmental standards. The World Bank reports that globally the extractive industries are important for the economies of over 50 developing countries where up to 1.5 billion people live on less than $2 per day. Extractive industries have been linked to human rights abuses and civil conflict in a number of countries.
Special Interests of Provinces
In addition to Promoting Human Rights and Water Sustainability, provinces from time to time also engage companies on issues that are particular to their apostolic endeavor or geographic presence. For example, the New Orleans province has identified the growing number of detention centers, particularly those owned by publicly-held companies, as one of the most critical migration issues in the region. The province is seeking to protect the human rights of inmates and detainees by engaging two of the proprietary prison industry’s largest companies. Predatory Lending Practices and Global Warming are among the issues engaged by other provinces.