News & Thought

Kwok Pens Foreword in Report on Forced Labor in China

Dennis Kwok penned the foreword in a recent report from Hong Kong Watch and Sheffield Hallam University titled, “Passively Funding Crimes Against Humanity: How Your Savings May Be Financing Internment Camps and Forced Labor in China.”

The report found that “major institutional investors are funding companies known to be involved and benefiting from the crisis in the Uyghur region” and that it is “vital that firms take action and actually live up to the ethical commitments that they have made under ESG frameworks and through signing international human rights compacts.”

Kwok wrote: “International companies need guidance on how to tackle these issues beyond a mere box-ticking exercise. Boards and investors require information on which suppliers are operating supply chains complicit in modern slavery, which firms are buying materials from them, and what the end products are. As international companies begin to take ESG more seriously, the ‘S’ component must not be overlooked. Proper weight must be given to human rights violations in the ESG metrics and regulatory frameworks. Financial regulators in New York, London, and the European Union need to hold firms responsible for their ESG pledge and statements. This would force companies and investors to undertake a more comprehensive due diligence process with a focus on human rights violations. Investors and state pension funds play a powerful role. They must not allow their funds and assets to tacitly support human rights abuses in China and other parts of the world.”

Read the full report: