International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Friday, August 10, 2018

Financial Flows from Human Trafficking

 In recent years, the number of victims of human trafficking and migrant smuggling has continued to grow significantly.  In addition to the terrible human cost, the estimated proceeds that human trafficking generates have increased five-fold since the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) produced a comprehensive report on the laundering of the proceeds of these crimes in 2011. Since then, there is also a better understanding of how and where human trafficking is taking place, including the increasing prevalence of people being trafficked in the same country or region.  Download Human-Trafficking-2018

A new FATF and Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) report aims to raise awareness about the type of financial information that can identify human trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labour and to raise awareness about the potential for profit-generation from organ trafficking. The report also highlights potential links between human trafficking and terrorist financing.

As human trafficking can happen in any country, it is important that countries assess how they are at risk of human trafficking and the laundering of the proceeds of this crime, share this information with stakeholders and make sure that it is understood. Countries should also build partnerships between public sector, private sector, civil society and non-profit communities to leverage expertise, capabilities and partnership.  The private sector - financial institutions in particular - and non-profit organisations that provide support to the victims of this crime, are on the frontline and have a crucial role in tackling human trafficking and the financial flows that derive from it.  

Innovative initiatives at the national or regional level have demonstrated how anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures, and those that implement them, can contribute to stopping this crime. However, globally, there has not been sufficient focus on how to use financial information to detect, disrupt and dismantle human trafficking networks.  This report provides good practices to help countries develop measures to address money laundering and terrorist financing from human trafficking and includes red flag indicators to help identify those who are laundering the proceeds of these heinous crimes. 

The FATF is a global standard-setter whose role is to understand money laundering and terrorist financing risks, develop and promote policies and standards to counter these risks and assess countries against those standards. The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering is an FATF-style regional body whose members and observers are committed to the effective implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted standards against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

 The FATF acknowledges the support of several financial institutions  and associations (Barclays, Standard Chartered, HSBC, Western Union, Ria Financial, the Wolfsberg Group, European and American Bankers’ Alliances and the Meekong Club,) and NGOs (Liberty Asia and Stop the Traffik) in developing this report.

AML | Permalink


Post a comment