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Human rights initiative

Financial sector targets slavery and trafficking

An international initiative aiming to end human rights abuses is bringing together the financial sector, global regulators, non-governmental organizations and survivors to look for new approaches.

The Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking was launched last month at the United Nations during the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly.

The commission — known as the Liechtenstein Initiative — is a public-private partnership between the government of Liechtenstein, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Center for Policy Research at United Nations University, a U.N. think tank. It also is supported by the Liechtenstein Bankers Association and the LGT Group Foundation, Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

Over the next year, the commission will look into specific areas where the financial sector can take action against modern slavery and human trafficking. It is chaired by Fiona Reynolds, managing director of the Principles for Responsible Investment. According to a commission document showing membership, commissioners include Anne-Maree O'Connor, head of responsible investment at the NZ$38.9 billion ($25.5 billion) New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Auckland; and Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates LP, Westport, Conn.