Launch of the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Articles & Insights | September 24, 2018 |

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The Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking launched at the United Nations during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly. The Commission, known as the Liechtenstein Initiative, was formed as a public-private partnership between the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein together with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government and the Centre for Policy Research at United Nations University.

This international initiative brings together leaders from across the financial sector, global regulators, survivors and non-governmental organizations to find innovative ways to end these pervasive human rights abuses. The initiative is additionally supported by the Liechtenstein Bankers Association and the LGT Group Foundation.

According to the most recent estimates, over 40 million people were enslaved in 2016 and proceeds from these illegal practices reached $150 billion. After 193 countries pledged to take effective measures to end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030, the UN Security Council has underlined the role that financial institutions can play in detecting and disrupting financial flows associated with these crimes.

The financial sector can come into contact with modern slavery and human trafficking in various ways, such as handling funds generated by such practices or financing goods and services that profit from it in their supply chains. Given its global reach and access to financial data necessary to target such abuses, the sector is also pivotal to the solution. From promoting human rights due diligence, developing innovative financing arrangements, and promoting inclusive financial technology, it is uniquely positioned to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.

Over the course of the next year, the Financial Sector Commission will delve into specific areas where the sector can take action to curb modern slavery and human trafficking. The outcome of the Commission will outline practical, relevant and actionable steps forward in this fight. Read more about the initiative on the FSC website.