EIRIS Conflict Risk Network urges investors to ‘Ask the Burma/Myanmar Question’

Many people and organisations may not associate their money with the widespread repression and human rights violations currently taking place in Burma/Myanmar.   

Following extensive research, EIRIS Conflict Risk Network (EIRIS CRN) is publishing a list of more than 125 companies currently operating in the country which is now controlled by a military regime. All of the companies have publicly listed shares or bonds which are owned by institutional investors or the public via its pension funds and other savings. EIRIS CRN is calling on individual and other investors to ask their asset managers some questions about how their money might be linked to human rights abuses in Burma/Myanmar. The Network believes that institutional investors and asset managers must take steps to better respect human rights and support peace and stability. This list is based on updated data from EIRIS CRN’s historic research on investments in Burma/Myanmar.  

The companies include well-known brands such as H&M, Apple and Colgate Palmolive which provide products to the local retail market but other, less known companies, are more likely to be linked to human rights abuses by the regime. The companies on the list also include those from industrial sectors which have been identified by EIRIS CRN as high risk, such as the arms industry, timber, gem, oil and gas. These sectors are considered riskier because they are frequently associated with human rights violations and/or they are linked to military personnel or their family members, provide significant tax revenue to the regime, and provide military and surveillance equipment to the regime. This is one of the largest and most comprehensive lists of companies operating in the country.  

EIRIS CRN are pleased to publish this list and 4 suggested questions that all investors can ask regarding their own money which helps them consider the ways their investments in these companies might impact the situation on the ground. 

Burma/Myanmar Company List: https://eiriscrn.net/burma-myanmarcompanylist/

Peter Webster, CEO of the EIRIS Foundation: 

‘We appreciate that there are no easy solutions for companies operating in Burma/Myanmar. However, we also believe that it is vital for companies to take responsibility and ensure they are doing all they can to reduce the risk of complicity in human rights violations and support peace. Individual and institutional investors are increasingly aware of their own voice and influence with regards to how their money may be impacting certain environmental and social issues. We are asking them to help shine a light on this specific issue to ensure the companies on this list know that the highest standards of due diligence and respect for human rights are expected of them at this time and in the future.’  

For further information and press enquiries please contact:
Yael Rosenfeld yael.rosenfeld@eirisfoundation.org Tel: +44 7875 953 321

About the EIRIS Foundation and EIRIS CRN: 
EIRIS CRN is part of the EIRIS Foundation. It seeks to empower institutional investors, financial service providers, and other engaged stakeholders by providing them with the tools needed to not only detect exposure to areas affected by conflict but also to work with companies to reduce risks through responsible corporate practices that support peace and stability.

The EIRIS Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales working in the area of responsible investment. The Foundation has over 30 years’ experience of providing free and objective information on ethical finance and corporate activity to other charities and the public.  

Its mission is to use research, analysis and influence to identify gaps, barriers, opportunities and enablers so that we can help organisations and individuals maximise their contribution to the responsible business and investment agenda. For more information please visit: www.eirisfoundation.org.