Special Focus Areas
The human and financial costs of gun violence in the United States are extremely high and steadily rising. According to the CDC, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the United States in 2020. On average, that is 124 people dying from gun violence per day. SRIC supports the efforts of ICCR in regard to asking gun merchants and manufacturers to take the necessary steps to address the fundamental issues that contribute to gun violence in the United States. Companies that have already adopted new firearms policies include Walmart, Kroger, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Companies like PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Apple Pay already prohibit lending or use of credit cards/payment systems to gun manufacturers that sell, produce, and design weapons and ammunition.
The Mining and Faith Reflection Initiative visited mines in Ghana, Peru, and Columbia to observe a high level overview of operations, which include mining, framework process, and health, safety, and environmental management. It also showed stakeholders’ engagement with communities, including feedback, development, and actions taken to minimize mining operations in the environmental perspective. This gives the communities the opportunity to show their characteristics, civil society organizations, and local government perspectives regarding the impact of mining in the community.
Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission has reported on the horrific damage Ukraine faced when Russia invaded the country in February 2022. The country has seen thousands of people killed and injured, monumental damage to civilian infrastructure, massive displacement, extensive sexual violence, torture, detention, disappearances, and enormous violations of international human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law.
For investors to address the violation of human rights, they should conduct human rights due diligence assessments (HRDD) of their portfolio holdings in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. They should also engage with the portfolio companies and communicate their expectations for all business activities and HRDD.
The Investor Alliance for Human Rights, along with other investors and organizations are monitoring the international armed conflict and human rights issues happening in Ukraine. These groups are also focusing on the impacts the business and investment communities could have on human rights in Ukraine in terms of activities, relationships, or holdings.
Since 2017, the Chinese government placed about 1.8 million Turkic and Muslim people in detention camps, prisons, and factories in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Although the Uyghur region could be considered a high-risk environment, it remains connected to the global supply chain.
Over 80% of China’s cotton is grown in the Uyghur Region, making up 22% of the global market between 2018 and 2019. Much of this is made into yarn that is used in textiles and apparel created in the Uyghur Region and in factories around the world. Due to China’s economic and foreign policies, the Uyghur Region has had an increase in foreign and local investments and economic activities. Other countries also have facilities, investments, and other business relationships in this region, in other parts of China, and across the world that are related to violations happening in the Uyghur Region.
Industry leaders and policymakers need to find ways to implement some sort of immigration reform as a way to public policies that will guarantee safety and benefits for individuals. Over the years, investors have been engaging with companies that address human rights impacts related to immigration detention. Correctional and detention management corporations should enforce human rights due diligence processes and pledge that they will not contribute to human rights violations.
With today’s constricting immigration laws, refugees and asylum seekers traveling through the US-Mexico border are spending days, weeks, months or more in detention centers as they are going through the judicial processes. Detainees are shown to suffer from access to healthcare and basic services while paying massive amounts of money to stay in detention centers.
SRIC supports the Interfaith Welcome Coalition (IWC) and its work that helps protect the human rights of individuals who are detained in detention centers. SRIC has been involved in several corporate engagements with organizations that own detention centers (GEO Group Inc. and Core Civic), to help address the conditions of detainees.
SRIC supports programs that value, conserve, restore and use biodiversity to maintain ecosystem services, preserve a healthy planet and provide benefits necessary for people. It is crucial for communities to support local action to protect natural landscapes, produce food supply chain security and advocate for water stewardship. Partners and corporate businesses should take urgent actions to prevent the loss of biodiversity in order to guarantee resilient ecosystems and supply essential services for the world.
Environmental Impacts of Industrial Growth in the Coastal Bend of Texas
The Coastal Bend of Texas has been marked as fertile ground for an industrial build-out that will affect the whole area. The Port of Corpus Christi Authority, Regional Economic Development Corporations (EDCs), and industry are involved in an expansion that includes new industrial development and maritime structure, dredging deep channels, and building seawater desalination facilities to provide the industry’s need for fresh water.
These new industries are threatening the residents’ health by polluting tons of greenhouse gases and harmful contaminants into the air and billions of gallons of contaminated industrial wastewater into the waterways.
The Coastal Alliance to Protect our Environment (CAPE) is a coalition made up of individuals, grassroots initiatives, and local chapters of state and national organizations who have come together to save communities that have been plagued by pollution surrounding Corpus Christi Bay.
Health Impacts of Methane Emissions on Communities
Roughly 17.6 million Americans, or 1 in 3 people in a county, live near active oil and gas operations. Methane pollution, from oil and gas operations, presents major health risks to Americans across the country. It is imperative that our communities support the regulation of controlling methane leaks from oil and natural gas wells. Back in 2017, SRIC sent a letter to the EPA regarding eliminating methane leak limits from oil and gas industries through New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). NSPS presents challenges to the reduction of methane emissions.
How to Reach Us
SRIC is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; our Tax ID is 74-2846727. All contributions are tax-deductible. For more information, please contact Anna Falkenberg, PhD, Executive Director:
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio TX 78216