Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking: The Podcast

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  • Dr James Cockayne hosts Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking: The Podcast, a series exploring the connections between global finance and modern slavery and human trafficking. We’ll look at all the different ways the financial sector can harness its leverage to end modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking, and bring you a roundup of all the latest developments, from environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulation to revealing research.


    Episode 0

    In this introductory episode, we’ll introduce you to the relationship between global finance and modern slavery, the team at Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking, and we’ll start our journey into understanding how the financial sector can help end slavery.

    Hosted by James Cockayne, Head of the Secretariat, guests in this episode include Timea Nagy, survivor leader, small business owner and global anti-trafficking activist; Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, the Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations; and Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and former Chair of the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

    Timea Nagy presents a survivor perspective on the experience of being trafficked and the role that debt plays in the process. Ambassador Wenaweser and Fiona Reynolds discuss how the Liechtenstein Initiative was set up and the goals it aims to achieve.


    Episode 1

    In the first episode of Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking: The Podcast, we consider the financial logic of slavery. We’ll learn how debt is used to control trafficking victims. We will hear why some businesses treat workers as disposable, depreciating assets, more like machines than people. And we’ll hear about the implications of this financial logic for financial markets.

    Guests in this episode include Dr Katarina Schwarz, Assistant Professor of Antislavery Law and Policy at the University of Nottingham and Associate Director at the Rights Lab; Professor Kevin Bales, Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the University of Nottingham; Timea Nagy, survivor leader, small business owner, and global anti-trafficking activist; and Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and former Chair of the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

    Dr Schwarz describes the different legal provisions surrounding modern slavery around the world that allow the practice to continue, and Timea Nagy explains the real world impact that these provisions can have on a personal level. Professor Bales meanwhile discusses the evolving costs involved in slavery when workers are treated as disposable assets, and Fiona Reynolds explains the deep connection between slavery and financial practices and investments.


    Episode 2


    In Episode 2 of Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking: The Podcast, we’re following the money. We’re learning how the profits from forced labour and modern slavery find their way into the financial system, and what happens to them. We’ll also hear from financial sector regulators and banks about how they’re learning to find the footprints of this hidden crime.

    Guests in this episode include Liz Barrick, Deputy Director of the Transaction Record Analysis Center (TRAC); Barry Koch, former legal counsel at JP Morgan Chase’s global anti-money laundering compliance programme and member of the FAST Initiative Steering Group; Joseph Mari, Director of External Partnerships in the Global Risk Management Division of Scotiabank; and Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

    The guests focus on initiatives aimed at using financial data to identify human trafficking and modern slavery. Liz Barrick discusses an innovative partnership between Western Union, law enforcement and other money service businesses to pool data to follow illicit financial flows, Barry Koch describes JP Morgan Chase’s groundbreaking transaction analysis programme used to identify potential human trafficking cases, while Joseph Mari describes a new compendium of resources and indicators for financial investigations. Finally, Tom Keatinge sounds a sceptical note about the challenges for banks in finding labour trafficking in their transactions data.


    Episode 3

    In Episode 3 of Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking: The Podcast, we look at how banks, remittance companies and credit card companies have been analyzing financial transactions to spot modern slavery and human trafficking. We then look at the impact that partnerships between financial institutions, regulators and civil society actors can have on this type of analysis.

    Guests in this episode include Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in the UK; Professor Jill Coster van Voorhout, Assistant Professor in (Inter- and Trans) national Criminal Law, University of Amsterdam; Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings; Tarana Baghirova, Associate Country Visit Officer at OSCE Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings; and Timea Nagy, survivor leader, small business owner, and global anti-trafficking activist.

    Tom Keatinge discusses the difficulties for banks in “following the money” to human traffickers and slavers, and Professor Jill van Voorhout describes why AI may help provide an answer to these difficulties. Valient Richey and Tarana Baghirova explain the importance of public/private partnerships in disrupting slavery practices, and Timea Nagy describes one partnership in Canada that worked in partnership with survivor leaders.