Date of Meeting: 15 March 2022

Meeting Organizer: Australia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking

ISJC Staff Present:

Reporter: Intern Joy Ime-Sunday

Which SDG does this topic cover? SDG 8- Decent Work and Economic Growth

Type of meeting: CSW 66 Panel Presentation

Summary of presentation of information

The meeting began with an introduction by the moderator Dr. Leona Vaughn who is the Vulnerable populations lead, Finance against slavery and trafficking. Followed by welcome remarks by H.E Dominique Hasler, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein and also another welcome remark by H.E Taina Bofferding, Minister of Gender Equality of Luxembourg.

  • The empowerment of women and girls is a major factor in tackling Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) and the access to financial support has been made even more difficult due to COVID19 Pandemic.

Keynote Speaker: Miss Anita Batia, UN Women Deputy Executive Director.

  • Over 40 countries do not grant women equal rights to property inheritance and without these properties, women have nothing to use as collaterals to get resources from financial institutions
  • Government and financial institutions should be dedicated to setting up a framework and providing grants to women at the bottom of the pyramid. This will reduce their vulnerability of being exploited.
  • Circumstances makes women vulnerable to exploitation and not gender. Financial institutions should also address gender equity.

The Moderator introduced the panelists: Dr. Fatima Denton, UNUINRA, Prof. Siobhan Mullaly, UN Rappotteur on Trafficking in Persons and Miss Malaika Oringo, Activist and CEO Footprints of Freedom

  • Financial Inclusion goes deep down to the family. When a mother doesn’t have financial inclusion, the children suffer and are at the risk of being exploited.
  • Financial Institutions need to have survivor informed staff or else they can leave survivors of MSHT more traumatized
  • Poverty, displacement, unemployment, and loss of livelihoods are some of the factors that makes women vulnerable

What is working in relation to financial inclusion for women and girls and what are the challenges?

  • Going back to tackling generational inequalities and the incorporation of survivor voices is working.
  • Creation of rural banks and digitalisation literacy has also worked.

Some Challenges and solutions are:

  • More financing and partnership with survivor led initiatives so they can share their stories and help victims before they are trafficked as survivors knows first-hand the tricks traffickers use.
  • Survivors should also be equipped and trained so they can influence and impact.
  • Support for survivors is usually short term, investments should be made for long-term recovery of survivors.

What can the UN do to address financial inclusion for women and girls?

  • Tackling gender inequality
  • Financial institutions need to begin working with survivors
  • Government needs to push the financial sectors more to empower and fund survivor led initiatives and support victims of Human Trafficking
  • Financial literacy for women and girls
  • Innovative approach in supply chain and financing
  • Transformation of the informal sector.

Professor Muhammed Yunus closed the presentation, in his words “Our economic situation is gradually taking us to our extinction. A new civilisation has to begin which is not founded by profit maximisation but sharing and we also need to draw a line where artificial intelligence does not take the work of people”.

What information shared in this meeting is of significance to The Salvation Army and why?

The empowerment of women and girls is of significance to The Salvation Army because it plays an important role in tackling Modern slavery and human trafficking (a global issue in which the Salvation Army is also responding to) by preventing women and girls from being vulnerable to exploitation.

What is The Salvation Army currently doing to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals addressed in this meeting?

The Salvation Army through the OTHERS program, are currently providing women and girls at the bottom of the pyramid a source of livelihood. Mothers, who are partakers of this programme can now cater for their children and family.

What opportunities are there for The Salvation Army to create or further develop the work in this area?

The Salvation Army has opportunities to create more Skill Acquisition and Empowerment programs, resources and events for women and girls especially in the tech Industry as the world today is gradually tilting towards technology. This could also serve as a means to providing more employment opportunities for females at the bottom of the pyramid.

Web links for more information