Federal Retirement Savings Must Not Be Invested in Chinese Corporate Human Rights Abusers


May 19, 2022 | 9:00 a.m. EDT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Louisa Greve +1 (571) 882-4825, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) calls for close screening of federal employee retirement options, to rule out investments in companies complicit in atrocity crimes against the Uyghur people.

“I urge the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to make sure that no federal matching dollars are invested in Chinese companies implementing the surveillance state in the Uyghur homeland,” said UHRP Executive Director, Omer Kanat. “These corporations are inseparable from the Chinese government’s genocidal policies.”

UHRP Board Chair Nury Turkel, who was re-appointed this month by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), wrote that “Congress should ensure that no American is profiting from the construction of the open-air digital prison engulfing Xinjiang,” in a Foreign Affairs article co-authored last year with Beth Van Schaack, current US Ambassador-At-Large for Global Criminal Justice. “Numerous publicly traded Chinese tech companies are included in emerging-market indexes held by public pension funds, university endowments, individual retirement plans, and investment portfolios. It is time to exclude these companies from U.S. capital markets.”

UHRP Director of Global Advocacy Louisa Greve, joined by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bennett Freeman, who served in the Clinton Administration, similarly called for action in a 2021 op-ed, writing, “No U.S. persons should be permitted to hold the stocks and bonds of the Chinese companies that are under U.S. human rights sanctions.”

Read more:

UHRP: 57 Chinese companies are under US sanctions for atrocity crimes against the Uyghur people 

Yale to begin investigating potential Chinese investments in light of human rights concerns, Yale Daily News, January 6, 2022

Why Canadian pension plans should divest from China, Ottawa Citizen, April 3, 2022

Norway’s Oil Fund Divests Chinese Clothing Brand Over Uyghur Labour, Agence France-Presse, March 8, 2022

The Uyghur genocide university divestment movement is here, Washington Post, November 24, 2021

UHRP: Civil society groups applaud Norway Oil Fund divestment from Hikvision, urge further action, September 24, 2020