Brief

Financial Inclusion to Protect Vulnerable Populations from Modern Slavery: A Compilation of Practices

Current practices addressing how financial inclusion can protect vulnerable populations from modern slavery.

Financial inclusion – access to and use of financial products and services – can help protect vulnerable people exposed to the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking, including survivors, displaced people, and refugees.

This Thematic Review explores current practices addressing the interconnections between financial inclusion and protecting vulnerable populations from modern slavery, adding momentum to calls for the financial sector to fully play its role in eradicating modern slavery by 2030. 

The Review provides several key recommendations for improving financial inclusion policy and practices to reduce modern slavery:

  • The design of transformative and inclusive financial services should be centred on the principles of accessibility, affordability, and appropriateness, coupled with consumer safety. 
  • Policy and practices to increase financial inclusion for the most vulnerable, including those recovering from exploitation, need to consider the intersectional needs of financially excluded populations.
  • Financial education and financial literacy should supplement actions to increase financial access and usage.
  • Financial inclusion policy and practice should consider the significant prospect of inclusive finance for helping vulnerable populations build their resilience to externalities such as climate change, conflict, and economic shocks. 
  • Financial access is not a panacea for reducing financial vulnerabilities to modern slavery – reducing poverty and addressing other structural vulnerabilities is fundamental.

Access "Financial Inclusion to Protect Vulnerable Populations from Modern Slavery: A Compilation of Practices" here.

Suggested citation: Heywood Loria-Mae, Vaughn Leona. Financial Inclusion to Protect Vulnerable Populations from Modern Slavery: A Compilation of Practices : UNU-CPR, 2024.

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