Liechtenstein and its financial centre stand for sustainability. This has been well known for a long time. Less well known is the fact that it takes a holistic approach aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The “Liechtenstein Initiative” who aims to end human trafficking and modern slavery is prove of that as well as the Waterfootprint initiative.
In two areas, Liechtenstein launched public-private partnership initiatives of a unique and pioneering character.
One of the lighthouse projects is the so-called “Liechtenstein Initiative” which aims to end human trafficking and modern slavery. It is a partnership project between the Governments of Liechtenstein, Australia and the Netherlands along with the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research as well as a consortium of banks, philanthropic foundations, and associations. The LBA and its banks are part of this public private partnership – for good reasons. The United Nations (UN) assumes that today more than 40 million people either live in captivity, are exploited by forced labour or suffer another form of serfdom. The goods produced often end up in normal sales channels, for example as textiles or food. The International Labour Organization of the United Nations estimates that around 150 billion US dollars are traded annually worldwide through slave labour and human trafficking. And this is where the financial sector comes in. It can be associated in various ways with modern slavery and human trafficking. This can be done, for example, by handling money generated from such practices, or by financing goods and services whose supply chains include modern slavery or human trafficking. According to studies, modern slavery and human trafficking are the most common predicate offences to money laundering and terrorist financing in the world today.
Liechtenstein’s financial community and regulatory authorities have considerable expertise in combating illicit financial flows and hence can play a pioneering role in tacking human trafficking and modern slavery, be it through the promotion of a high due diligence standards, the development of responsible investments. In September 2019, during the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Commission has released a blueprint for accelerated action to address modern slavery and human trafficking.
It is time to ban unworthy working conditions and forced labour. This would also contribute to more climate protection. Why? Legal jobs can be regulated in such a way that less environmental pollution or waste of resources occurs. The circle to the “Paris goals” closes and the holistic approach of Liechtenstein makes even more sense.