[Preventable Surprises] Climate Adaptation and Human Rights Newsletter #4

Preventable Surprises

Preventable Surprises Climate Adaptation & Human Rights Newsletter – Summary

Preventable Surprises is a New York-based ‘think-do’​ tank that facilitates difficult conversations and seeks to drive behavior change within the investment sector to help prevent major market dysfunctions. In an increasingly complex and polarized world, they work with positive mavericks – professionals who share aspirations for a sustainable and ethical financial system – to challenge the status quo and propose ambitious solutions.”

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Welcome to this fifth edition of our Border & Surveillance Industries newsletter for investors. As UK leaders ramp up their anti-refugee and immigrant rhetoric, and as the tensions in the Mediterranean or the US Southern Border show no sign of abating, the need for investor voices grows more important. Climate adaptation and migration will be dominant trends of the coming decades, with significant human rights impacts and ramifications far beyond. If you want, call it systems change, but not the kind anyone signed up for. So please help investors find their voice by speaking up and asking questions of such as Anduril, Amazon, Converus, or Serco within the Border and Surveillance Industrial Complex, take note of the policies governments set to treat migrants, and then outsource to the private sector, and note, if it helps, that Colombia is considering a new special classification for climate refugees.

Company news roundup

Anduril: According to NGO Truth on Borders, the UK government is expanding contracts with US firm Anduril to increase its surveillance capacity along its southern border. Similar advanced surveillance cameras have already been in place for over a year, supposedly using machine learning to identify whether the radar targets they pick up are migrant dinghies or not (surveillance drones are used for facial recognition already at the border).

Regional updates


US Federal Trade Commission warns about misuses of biometric information by companies.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  issued a warning that the increasing use of consumers’ biometric information and related technologies, including those powered by machine learning, raises significant consumer privacy and data security concerns and the potential for bias and discrimination. The policy statement warns that false or unsubstantiated claims about the accuracy or efficacy of biometric information technologies or about the collection and use of biometric information may violate federal law. Will the same standards be applied to biometric information gathered by companies on migrants crossing US and international borders?


Europe approves new asylum processes: MEPs have approved the EU’s new asylum proposals, summed up by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) here. In the ECRE’s view, the final legislation is likely to constitute a marked deterioration in standards and a significant departure from international law. “Almost as concerning”, the NGO explains, “is that the proposed amendments… render the legislation ever more complex, to the point that implementation will be a challenge. Combined with a reliance on derogations, this in turn suggests an era of de facto de-harmonisation.”


Sudan exodus. UNHCR reports more than one million people have been displaced by fighting in Sudan which broke out in April. Approximately 843,000 people are internally displaced and 250,000 have fled to other countries. To date, Egypt has received the highest number of refugees at almost 110,000, followed by Chad with an estimated 60,000 new arrivals.