A Simple Debit Card Can Help Fight Human Trafficking, U.N. Banking Group Says

November 22, 2019

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Dozens of banks have signed up to a U.N. program to offer trafficking survivors accounts and debit cards, organizers said on Friday, providing tools they may lack if their captors stole their financial identity or ruined their credit.

The banking coalition, launched during the annual General Assembly meeting of the United Nations this week, includes a dozen leading banks in Austria, Canada, Great Britain and the United States.

It aims to help survivors who find traffickers hijacked their financial identity for money laundering or other crimes and spoiled their credit record.

“Having access to legitimate financial services is something many people take for granted,” said Sara Crowe, director of data analysis at the U.S.-based anti-trafficking group Polaris, in a statement.

“For too long, survivors of trafficking have faced challenges like having to cash checks at places that deduct large fees because they can’t get a basic checking or savings account.”

The scheme is among a number of projects proposed by the Liechtenstein Initiative, a year-long effort to harness the might of the global financial industry in the effort to battle human trafficking.

To read the full story by Ellen Wulfhorst on Thomson Reuters Foundation: Click Here

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