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Human Trafficking, Financial Institutions, & Money Laundering - Connections & Solutions?

Every year, millions fall victim to Human Trafficking. Learn how your bank is part of the solution.

How Illicit Flow of Money Is a Silent Enabler of Human Trafficking?

Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) is currently the third largest crime enterprise in the world, right after drug smuggling ranking on second and arms trafficking coming at the top. Before the year 2000, no mutually agreed-upon definition of human trafficking existed. This evolved right after 2000, when the United Nations defined and declared the β€œProtocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Human Trafficking, Especially Among Women and Children” (commonly known as the Trafficking Protocol) in Palermo, Sicily.

Human Trafficking is one of the most profitable crime, hence a large number of criminals have turned to it in recent decades. Currently, 2.45 million people are reported to have become the victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking results in USD 32 billion in profits for its operators as per the FATF report.Β 

Money laundering is typically investigated by law enforcement agencies. Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) also investigate human trafficking cases that involve money laundering, which explains how investigations carried out by the FIU and law enforcement agencies, as well as suspicious transaction reports, tend to be the key sources of information. The difficulty in detecting suspicious transactions of cash linked to human trafficking, gathering sufficient evidence, and limited transnational collaboration all pose hurdles to effectively fight against human trafficking-related money laundering.