Baker McKenzie is hosting a webinar “Sustainability Roundtable on the Financial Sector’s Role in the Fight Against Slavery & Trafficking – Current Regulatory Developments and Practical Tools” on 27 May 2020, 12-1PM CET.

The FAST Blueprint for Mobilizing Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking, launched during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, provides a collective action framework for the financial sector to accelerate action to end these crimes.

The Blueprint provides a general overview of shared goals and recommended strategies, but also leaves room for unique approaches and differentiated action. It sets out five goals towards which financial institutions can work through individual and collective action:

  • Compliance with laws against modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • Knowing and showing modern slavery and human trafficking risks.
  • Using leverage creatively to mitigate and address modern slavery and human trafficking risks.
  • Providing and enabling effective remedy for modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • Investment in innovation for prevention.

Included in the Blueprint are 30 Actions in areas ranging from anti-money laundering to responsible lending and investment, and from financial inclusion to financial technology. It also provides practical tools for the financial sector to use and programs to participate in.

Implementation of the Blueprint is expected to lead to a stronger connection between an enterprise’s behavior and its costs of capital. The report states that this connection will naturally move global markets away from their current tolerance for 40.3 million people in modern slavery and human trafficking, and encourage capital allocation to enterprises that helps reduce modern slavery and human trafficking risks. It will help address the ongoing tragic market failure and denial of human rights that this represents, and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Target 8.7.

The event features a message from Bettina Reinboth, Head of Social Issues at Principles for Responsible Investment, and a presentation by Dr. James Cockayne, Director of United Nations University Centre for Policy Research and Head of the FAST Secretariat.

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