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UN SSE partners with UN University's FAST Initiative and Walk Free on finance and human rights

Abu Dhabi, 18 October 2023 – The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (UN SSE), the United Nations University's Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) and Walk Free brought together thought leaders, industry experts, and advocates under the event titled "Finance and Human Rights" at the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi.

The session was opened with an agenda setting keynote address from Ms. Mia Seppo, the Assistant Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and featured in-depth discussions on the intersection of finance and human rights. Participants explored innovative approaches to addressing issues related to modern slavery, forced labour, and human trafficking within the financial sector. They explored how exchanges, as part of their ESG guidance, can help their markets identify and avoid modern slavery risks.

The event also served as the platform to launch a new research partnership between UN SSE, FAST, and Walk Free. The new joint programme will analyse the extent to which exchanges make reference to modern slavery-related topics in their disclosure guidance to issuers. The collaboration aims to empower exchanges to identify and address gaps in their guidance on modern slavery risks.

The joint effort between UN SSE, FAST, and Walk Free exemplifies the role that finance can play in advancing human rights and driving positive change. 

About UN University FAST

Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) is an initiative of the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research that works with organizations around the world to maximize its reach and impact and mobilize the finance sector to address modern slavery and human trafficking. FAST is a knowledge partner for governments, multilateral organizations, and financial sector actors alike. Through its alliance-building and survivor-informed approach, FAST works globally to end modern slavery and human trafficking in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG Target 8.7.

About Walk Free

Walk Free is an international human rights group working to accelerate the end of all forms of modern slavery. Walk Free is the creator of the Global Slavery Index, the world’s most comprehensive data set on modern slavery. Walk Free uses this data to mobilize powerful forces for change against these human rights abuses. Walk Free works with governments and regulators, businesses and investors, and faith and community leaders to drive systems change and partners directly with frontline organizations to impact the lives of those vulnerable to modern slavery. Walk Free works with survivors to build the movement to end modern slavery, recognizing that lived experience is expertise and that survivors are central to identifying lasting solutions.