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UK Must Act Launches #EthicsWashing Campaign

Global Ethics Day:

Every third Wednesday of October is celebrated as "Global Ethics Day." This day highlights the crucial role of ethical decision-making, especially in the financial sector. It's a call to action for companies, professionals and organisations to uphold and champion ethical standards in their practices. This year the theme is “Ethics Empowered” and over the last decade, this annual event has seen participation from thousands of entities across more than 100 countries, all uniting under the banner of ethics. The day serves as a reminder of the power of ethics in shaping a better future.

Anti-Slavery Day:

This Global Ethics Day, (October 18th), coincides with Anti-Slavery Day, recalling the British Parliament's 1807 Slave Trade Act, which banned the transatlantic slave trade. Launching our new campaign on this day is fitting, as Britain now echoes its past horrors, with renewed trauma against asylum seekers seeking safety on its shores with the new threat of prison-hulk barges. Let this date remind us of the historical progress that has been made and is yet to be made, as we now campaign against companies that invest in the misery of asylum seekers, and the UK Government’s Hostile Environment.

A Stark Reminder this Global Ethics Day and Anti-Slavery Day: The UK's choice to house asylum seekers on the Bibby Stockholm barge evokes haunting memories of floating prisons from history. Described as a "quasi floating prison" by critics, it's a grim reflection on this Global Ethics Day and Anti-Slavery Day. Investors must ensure they don't support companies profiting from such practices.

Introducing the #EthicsWashing Campaign:

In the spirit of promoting genuine ethical behaviour, UK Must Act is launching their latest campaign. This campaign urges investors to divest from companies that engage in unethical practices. This typically involves the dissemination of misleading statements, gestures, or actions aimed at creating a pretence of good ethical conduct, while potentially masking underlying issues or falsehoods. This campaign aims to empower investors and institutions with knowledge, ensuring that companies are held accountable for genuine ethical considerations, rather than presenting a sanitised image.

What is #EthicsWashing ?

In the refugee rights sector, #EthicsWashing refers to the strategic efforts of companies to alleviate or eliminate ethical apprehensions connected to their treatment of asylum seekers, or their involvement in practices deemed inhumane within the realm of human rights.

The International Alliance of Safe Harbours:

In line with this campaign's focus on genuine ethical behaviour, the "International Alliance of Safe Harbours" (IASH) stands as a beacon of hope. IASH is a network of cities advocating for the just relocation of refugees and migrants from border regions into cities and communities across Europe and the UK. The #EthicsWashing campaign will be running alongside Europe Must Act’s current campaign, “Routes to Relocation” which aims to push the municipal approach to relocation of refugees and asylum seekers from the EU borders to cities in Europe, and highlights IASH and encourages mayors across the EU and UK to join this initiative. If mayors across the UK join this commendable initiative, they stand against the inhumane Bibby Stockholm, and play a pivotal role in reshaping the narrative around people seeking sanctuary, emphasising compassion, solidarity, and shared responsibility. We believe that with the support of local leaders, the UK can make a significant contribution to this alliance, furthering the cause of human rights and ethical treatment of all individuals.

Take Action Now:

In the coming days and weeks, stay alert to our UK chapter’s social media channels (@europemustactuk). UK Must Act will be highlighting companies involved in the UK asylum system that have questionable ethics, as well as those associated with them. Join them in making a difference and championing true ethical standards in the financial sector. Support this campaign, expose companies that are #EthicsWashing, and advocate for the just relocation of people seeking sanctuary by using our Email template to write to your Mayor. Let's empower ethics as a force for good on October 18, 2023 and beyond!


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