Mobilizing the Financial Sector as Part of a Global Strategy to End Modern Slavery
GFEMS article published in Delta 8.7: “Modern slavery is a crime of economic opportunity that has a massive global footprint and generates over USD 150 billion in profits each year for traffickers. As the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery builds a coherent strategy to make modern slavery economically unprofitable with government, business and civil society partners, it is important to engage a group with the ability to take the fight straight to the traffickers: the financial sector.”
The financial sector—from banks to investment funds to financial service providers—is a pillar of the global economy and a platform for all financial flows. As such, this sector could impact anti-slavery efforts in numerous ways. Directing even a fraction of the largest investment managers’ assets to companies with clean supply chains could gather momentum in addressing risk of forced labour in deep and opaque supply chains. Leveraging financial sector expertise could also have a reverberating impact on the use of innovative technology and partnerships to identify and disrupt illicit financial flows to traffickers. Furthermore, mobilizing networks of financial services across countries could provide financial solutions to those who have been financially excluded and trapped in forced labour. The recently launched Financial Sector Commission, for example, will explore how the financial sector can be used to detect and disrupt financial flows associated with modern slavery.