Project

Survivor Inclusion Initiative (SII)

Supporting the recovery and reintegration of survivors of human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery through the provision of financial services.

Date Published
2 May 2024
Project Type
Research and Capacity Development
Project Status
Completed

The Survivor Inclusion Initiative (SII), managed by UNU-CPR’s Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) project, was developed in 2019 to address a key component in the recovery and reintegration of survivors of human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery: overcoming structural barriers and providing financial agency and access. 

In its pilot phase of operation (2019–2023), SII facilitated the opening of 3,040 survivor bank accounts. Fourteen financial institutions and 39 survivor support organizations participated in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. 

As one of the first activities launched within FAST, the SII offers useful lessons on how to directly mitigate vulnerability through financial access for survivor clients. Best practices from the pilot, including modified and simplified know-your-customer processes for financial institutions working with these clients, are now being applied in other contexts to reduce vulnerability through financial inclusion, most recently in the case of Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

Recognizing that the pilot has reached maturity, FAST has transitioned from acting as an intermediary for SII. Instead, we offer the following resources to financial service providers and survivor support organizations so they can apply SII practices independently. The resources will also help survivors understand that they have the right to access and use financial services. 

FAST sincerely thanks the financial institutions, survivors support organizations, and – most importantly – the survivors, who have all contributed to this pilot’s success and will carry its work forward. 

Lessons from the Survivor Inclusion Initiative

Providing financial access for survivors and other communities vulnerable to modern slavery
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SII Resources

Brief

Lessons from the Survivor Inclusion Initiative

Providing financial access for survivors and other communities vulnerable to modern slavery

03 Apr 2024

Brief

Lessons from Canada's Approach to Extending Financial Access to Survivors of Modern Slavery

Taking Canada’s financial access for survivors approach to the next level.

17 Oct 2023

Toolkit

Survivor Inclusion Initiative

The Survivor Inclusion Initiative works with financial institutions and survivor support organizations to promote financial inclusion.

12 Dec 2023

Related content

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.

28 May 2024

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