Recovering from COVID-19: The Role of Sustainable Finance to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

  • DATE / TIME:
    2021•07•13    13:00 - 14:30

    The theme of this year’s UN High-Level Political Forum is “sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development”.

    This side-event explored the key role of the financial sector in addressing modern slavery and human trafficking, focusing particularly on building back better from COVID-19. Sustainable and inclusive finance can foster effective action by business to identify and mitigate modern slavery risks in their value chains, and ensure business actions during the pandemic are not exacerbating such risks. Research shows that businesses with a reputation for protecting workers have out-performed others on share price since the pandemic began. And investors continue to migrate towards Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments. Moreover, financial inclusion and Fintech can play in reducing vulnerability to modern slavery and human trafficking. During the “Decade of Action” on the Sustainable Development Goals, partnering with the financial sector will be crucial in addressing modern slavery and human trafficking risks at scale.

    The event was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Australia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain to the United Nations. Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) is a project based at United Nations University Centre for Policy Research.


    Ministerial-level opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion with:

    • Daniel Thelesklaf, Project Director, Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (Moderator)
    • Fiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment
    • Dawne Spicer, Executive Secretary, Caribbean Financial Action Task Force
    • James Kofi Annan, Founder, Challenging Heights
    • H.E. Carlos Ruiz González, Spanish Ambassador-at-large for Human Trafficking