Pro Bono & Community

Combating Modern Slavery

The Paul Hasting’s Initiative To Combat Modern Slavery uses the Firm’s global expertise to drive a coordinated set of actions to address and eradicate modern slavery in all its forms, including labor trafficking, forced labor, and child labor. These efforts include:

1) Promoting collaborative thought leadership among business, civil society, and public institutions related to varying aspects of modern slavery;

2) developing new tools for business to address modern slavery in their value chains to avoid harming victims of modern slavery; and,

3) taking impactful action on behalf of modern slavery victims, including preparing litigation and/or regulatory or legislative submissions.

One arm of the Modern Slavery Initiative will focus specifically on assisting and counseling the financial sector in light of the actions that have been undertaken by FinCEN (“Financial Crimes Enforcement Network”) and FATF (“Financial Action Task Force”), as well as the civil penalty orders against Westpac for child exploitation, the bevy of OECD National Contact Point Specific Instances, and other similar efforts aimed at pushing financial institutions to affirmatively address modern slavery.

The Firm will:

- Convene a group of key players in the financial sector to identify critical issues which our attorneys will then research and analyze. This group will also review and vet any proposed publications and documents which are developed in order to identify any further actions that should potentially be taken.  One such publication will be prepared in partnership with civil society organizations and financial institutions to be presented to the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group when it convenes in Italy in 2021. 

- Create an industry tool – specifically, a checklist, guidance and training materials – to assist in identifying red flags, behavior patterns, and other actions intended to disrupt organizational networks.

- Engage with Firm clients in the financial sector and the money transmittal industry to provide assistance in creating or enhancing bespoke modern slavery protocols, adapt to legislative and regulatory developments, and engage attorneys in legal departments in meaningful initiatives.

- Continue to develop and engage in direct representation of human trafficking victims across the world in partnership with civil society organizations. For example, in conjunction with Sanctuary for Families in New York, the Firm has and continues to represent victims of both sex and labor trafficking as they navigate interactions with law enforcement, as well as the criminal justice and immigration systems.