PRESS RELEASE: FIRST UK UNIVERSITY PLEDGES NO INVESTMENTS IN BORDER VIOLENCE

By: Migrant Justice Team
Image showing students celebrating in front of building. text reads: Cardiff Metropolitan: First University to Divest from the border industry.
(Welsh version below)

Cardiff Metropolitan University has become the first university in the UK to divest from all companies that profit from border violence, resulting in a first win for the student-led Divest Borders campaign.

Cardiff Metropolitan University has included in its Ethical Investment and Banking Policy the commitment to “screen out Border Industry companies”. This forms part of the university’s wider approach to not invest in “companies or activities which are considered to be unethical” and which “threaten community and international stability”.

This announcement comes in the context of an estimated £ 327 million in university portfolios invested in the companies that make policies such as the UK’s Rwanda offshoring plan and the Hostile Environment a reality. These companies include Serco, who run UK detention centres with a record of widespread neglect and abuse, Airbus, who service drones to track the movement of migrants in the Mediterranean, and tech giant Accenture who have represented refugees as potential terrorists as selling point for their surveillance systems.

This is the first victory for the UK-wide Divest Borders campaign, which is coordinated by student campaigning charity People & Planet. In the 11 months since the campaign launched, student-led campaigns have formed at 25 universities across the UK, all calling for their university to end their complicity through investments in border regimes that kill, injure, and violate the rights of migrants and people seeking safety.  Since the launch, the campaign has gained public support from over 100 migration scholars and university workers from across 35 UK universities.

Eva Spiekermann, Co-Director: Migration Campaigns and Movement Building at People & Planet, said: “Cardiff Metropolitan University’s announcement to break investment ties with border industry companies sets an incredible precedent for the UK higher education sector. With over 60% of the higher education sector divested from fossil fuels, UK universities have demonstrated that they are willing to use divestment as a way to remove the social license of unethical industries. As governments build higher and higher physical and virtual walls and scapegoat people on the move, border industry companies are happily making a business of death, detention and deportations. UK universities have a role to play in defending the values of sanctuary, international solidarity and justice for all. This is the first of many Divest Borders wins.”

Professor Rachael Langford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “Cardiff Metropolitan University is proud to be recognised by People & Planet as the first university in the UK to align investment practices with immigration justice. The University does not currently hold any investments with companies involved in the border industry and we are not making any changes to our investments. We are therefore delighted to make it our policy never to invest with companies involved in the border industry.  As Wales’ first University of Sanctuary, Cardiff Metropolitan University acknowledges the unique injustices faced by migrating people and the role educational institutions must play in redressing this.”

Orla Tarn, President of National Union of Students Wales, said: “It’s brilliant to see a university in Wales become the first in the UK to commit to divesting from the borders industry. This is down to the hard work of students and students’ unions at Welsh universities and beyond, and all of those supporting People and Planet’s Divest Borders campaign. I encourage every university in Wales to follow suit to ensure that companies complicit in human rights abuses against migrating people have no influence on our campuses.”


Aliya Yule, Organiser at Migrants Organise, said: “The announcement today that Cardiff Met will divest from companies complicit in Britain's racist border regime is a huge win, and demonstrates our power when we come together to organise against the hostile environment. At Migrants Organise we work with thousands of people who are subjected to dehumanising and degrading conditions - conditions deliberately created by companies who profit millions by doing so. We must continue to take action together until all universities divest from these companies and we end the hostile environment and instead build a world based on dignity and justice for all."

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PENNAWD: prifysgol gyntaf y du i addo dim buddsoddiadau mewn trais ar ffiniau

Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd yw’r brifysgol gyntaf yn y DU i ddadfuddsoddi oddi wrth bob cwmni sy’n elwa o drais ar ffiniau, gan arwain at fuddugoliaeth gyntaf i’r ymgyrch Divest Borders sydd dan arweiniad myfyrwyr.

Mae Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd wedi cynnwys yn ei Pholisi Buddsoddi a Bancio yr ymrwymiad i “allgau cwmnïau sy’n ymwneud â’r Diwydiant Ffiniau”. Mae hyn yn rhan o ymagwedd ehangach y brifysgol o beidio â buddsoddi mewn “cwmnïau neu weithgareddau a ystyrir yn anfoesegol” ac sy'n “bygwth sefydlogrwydd cymunedol a rhyngwladol”.

Daw’r cyhoeddiad hwn yng nghyd-destun amcangyfrif o £327 miliwn mewn portffolios prifysgolion a fuddsoddir mewn cwmnïau sy’n gwneud polisïau fel cynllun adleoli Rwanda y DU a’r Amgylchedd Gelyniaethus yn realiti. Mae’r cwmnïau hyn yn cynnwys Serco sy’n rhedeg canolfannau carcharu yn y DU gyda hanes o esgeulustod a chamdriniaeth eang, Airbus sy’n gwasanaethu dronau i olrhain symudiad ymfudwyr ym Môr y Canoldir, neu’r cawr technoleg Accenture sydd wedi portreadu ffoaduriaid fel terfysgwyr posibl fel pwynt gwerthu ar gyfer eu systemau gwyliadwriaeth.

Dyma fuddugoliaeth gyntaf ymgyrch Divest Borders ar draws y DU, sy’n cael ei chydlynu gan elusen ymgyrchu myfyrwyr People & Planet. Yn yr 11 mis ers lansio'r ymgyrch, mae ymgyrchoedd dan arweiniad myfyrwyr wedi ffurfio mewn [X] o brifysgolion ledled y DU, i gyd yn galw am i’w prifysgol roi terfyn ar eu cydweithrediad drwy fuddsoddiadau mewn cyfundrefnau ffiniau sy’n lladd, yn anafu, ac yn tramgwyddo hawliau ymfudwyr a phobl sy’n ceisio diogelwch. Ers ei lansio, mae’r ymgyrch wedi ennill cefnogaeth gan dros 100 o ysgolheigion ymfudo a gweithwyr mewn 35 o brifysgolion y DU.

Meddai Eva Spiekermann, Cyd-gyfarwyddwr: Ymgyrchoedd Ymfudo ac Adeiladu Mudiadau yn People & Planet: “Mae cyhoeddiad Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd ei bod am dorri cysylltiadau buddsoddi â chwmnïau’r diwydiant ffiniau’n gosod cynsail anhygoel i sector addysg uwch y DU. Gyda dros 60% o’r sector addysg uwch wedi dadfuddsoddi o danwydd ffosil, mae prifysgolion y DU wedi dangos eu bod yn fodlon defnyddio dargyfeirio fel ffordd o gael gwared ar barodrwydd cymdeithas i dderbyn diwydiannau anfoesegol. Wrth i lywodraethau adeiladu waliau corfforol a rhithiol uwch ac uwch a chreu bwch dihangol o bobl sy’n symud o un wlad i’r llall, mae cwmnïau’r diwydiant ffiniau yn ddigon bodlon gwneud busnes o farwolaeth, carcharu ac alltudiaeth. Mae gan brifysgolion y DU ran i’w chwarae wrth amddiffyn gwerthoedd noddfa, undod rhyngwladol a chyfiawnder i bawb. Dyma’r gyntaf o nifer o fuddugoliaethau ar ran Divest Borders.”

Meddai’r Athro Rachael Langford, Dirprwy Is-Ganghellor Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd: “Mae Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd yn falch o gael ei chydnabod gan People & Planet fel y brifysgol gyntaf yn y DU i alinio arferion buddsoddi â chyfiawnder mewnfudo. Nid oes gan y Brifysgol ar hyn o bryd unrhyw fuddsoddiadau gyda chwmnïau sy'n ymwneud â'r diwydiant ffiniau, ac nid ydym am wneud unrhyw newidiadau i'n buddsoddiadau. Rydym felly wrth ein bodd yn ei gwneud yn bolisi gennym i beidio byth â buddsoddi gyda chwmnïau sy’n ymwneud â’r diwydiant ffiniau.

Fel Prifysgol Noddfa gyntaf Cymru, mae Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd yn cydnabod yr anghyfiawnderau unigryw a wynebir gan bobl sy’n ymfudo a’r rôl y mae’n rhaid i sefydliadau addysgol ei chwarae wrth unioni’r sefyllfa hon.”

Meddai Orla Tarn, Llywydd Undeb Cenedlaethol Myfyrwyr Cymru: “Mae’n wych gweld prifysgol yng Nghymru yn dod y gyntaf yn y DU i ymrwymo i ddadfuddsoddi o’r diwydiant ffiniau. Mae hyn o ganlyniad i waith caled myfyrwyr ac undebau myfyrwyr ym mhrifysgolion Cymru a thu hwnt, a phawb sy'n cefnogi ymgyrch Divest Borders People & Planet. Rwy’n annog pob prifysgol yng Nghymru i ddilyn eu hesiampl er mwyn sicrhau nad yw cwmnïau sy’n ymwneud â cham-drin hawliau dynol yn erbyn pobl sy’n ymfudo yn cael unrhyw ddylanwad ar ein campysau.”

Meddai Aliya Yule, Trefnydd gyda Migrants Organise: “Mae’r cyhoeddiad heddiw y bydd Met Caerdydd yn dadfuddsoddi o gwmnïau sy’n rhan o gyfundrefn ffiniau hiliol Prydain yn fuddugoliaeth enfawr, ac yn dangos ein pŵer pan fyddwn ni’n dod at ein gilydd i drefnu yn erbyn yr amgylchedd gelyniaethus. Yn Migrants Organise rydym yn gweithio gyda miloedd o bobl sy'n wynebu amgylchiadau sy’n eu diraddiol - amodau a grëwyd yn fwriadol gan gwmnïau sy'n gwneud elw o filiynau yn sgil gwneud hynny. Mae’n rhaid i ni barhau i weithredu gyda’n gilydd nes i’r holl brifysgolion roi’r gorau i fuddsoddi yn y cwmnïau hyn a rhoi diwedd ar yr amgylchedd gelyniaethus, ac yn lle hynny adeiladu byd sy’n seiliedig ar urddas a chyfiawnder i bawb.”