Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: The Roles of Finance and Tech

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Join WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 4 pm EST for a virtual policy roundtable discussion on efforts to combat human trafficking and modern slavery, with a focus on the roles of the financial and technology sectors.

Human trafficking and slavery are illegal in most states, yet the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 40.3 million people enslaved or victim of trafficking. Trafficking is one of the most profitable criminal activities with profits of up to $150 billion a year. In 2018, Liechtenstein launched the Finance Against Slavery Initiative (FAST) to examine how the financial sector can be mobilized to abolish modern slavery and trafficking. That same year a coalition of technology companies launched a Tech Against Trafficking (TAT) Initiative.

In this roundtable, we will examine what progress has been made on both initiatives. We will also examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the illegal trade in humans, and innovative approaches and new policy initiatives to eliminate human trafficking and modern slavery.

December 15th, 4:00 pm EST

View the recording here.


Ambassador Kurt Jaeger, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United States. In August of 2016 Kurt Jaeger was appointed Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United States of America. From 2010-2016 he was Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the European Union (EU) and Belgium. He has over 25 years of professional experience in international regulatory affairs of which 15 years were acquired in the airline industry and civil aviation administration. Prior to his ambassadorial posting from 2005-2010 Ambassador Jaeger was elected as one of three members of the Board of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority in charge of monitoring and enforcing the application of EU law in the European Economic Area (EEA) by the three EFTA-States Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

His academic career includes a degree acquired in 1987 from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland with a license en droit and with an LL.M. in 1989 from McGill University, Montreal. After his postgraduate studies, during which he also worked as a research fellow in public international law at Fribourg University, he joined the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation for six years where he was first in charge of international air transport regulation and policy and then became Executive Assistant to the Director General for Civil Aviation.

He subsequently switched to the private sector taking on positions in a private law practice in Liechtenstein. He then became secretary of the board of directors and general counsel of the Swiss regional air carrier Crossair. Later he served as Vice-President for international corporate affairs for an airline IT company and finally as Vice-President for aeropolitical affairs at Swiss International Air Lines where he was responsible for the regulatory matters as well as industry and political relations. In this capacity he took on a leading role in the legal structuring of the business transfer from the defunct Swissair in 2001/2002 and then of the airline’s merger with Lufthansa in 2005. Upon completion of the merger in 2010, he was appointed to the position as Ambassador to the EU and Belgium. His main responsibilities were the representation of his country towards the EU in institutions of the EEA and the Schengen Agreement.


Prof. James Cockayne, Liechtenstein Initiative for Finance Against Slavery & Trafficking. James Cockayne is Professor of Global Politics & Anti-Slavery at the University of Nottingham, and the founding Head of Secretariat of the Liechtenstein Initiative for Finance Against Slavery & Trafficking (‘FAST’). He is the Chair of the US Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on Human Trafficking, and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council on Equity and Social Justice. James is a fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. His most recent monograph is Developing Freedom: The Sustainable Development Case for Ending Modern Slavery (forthcoming, January 2021).


Jamille Bigio, Council on Foreign Relations. Jamille Bigio is a leading expert on human rights and gender equality, and their relationship with national security and global prosperity. Currently, she is a senior fellow on Women and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. In the Obama administration, Bigio was the director for human rights and gender on the White House National Security Council staff, served on the White House Council on Women and Girls, and advised First Lady Michelle Obama. Bigio also served as senior advisor on national security and on sub-Saharan Africa to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, and was detailed to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and to the U.S. Mission to the African Union. Bigio led the interagency launch of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, an effort for which she was recognized with the U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Award and the U.S. Department of Defense Secretary of Defense Honor Award. Previously, she worked at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York, Ethiopia, and Iraq (based in Jordan), and at the grassroots level for public health nongovernmental organizations. Bigio lectures and publishes widely, including in Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, and other outlets. She has testified multiple times before the U.S. Congress, is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the board of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. 


Hannah Darnton, Tech Against Trafficking Initiative. Hannah works with multinational companies to align business and human rights strategies and facilitate incorporation of sustainable practices into business operations across sectors. She focuses on the intersection of human rights and new, disruptive technology and leads the Tech Against Trafficking collaborative initiative.

Prior to joining BSR, Hannah worked with the Skoll Foundation, where she co-led the portfolio and investments team’s efforts to identify social entrepreneurs with the potential to drive large-scale social change. Her work led to over US$20 million in grants and investments between 2015 and 2018. Before Skoll, Hannah spent six years working in anti-human trafficking in West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Bay Area. She is fluent in French.

Hannah holds a Master’s in NGOs and Development from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Political Science and French from the University of Michigan. She currently serves on the advisory boards of Oxfam’s Women in Small Enterprise initiative and Convening17.


Dr. Layla M. Hashemi, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center. Dr. Layla M. Hashemi is a researcher and data analyst at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC). She earned her MA in International Relations from New York University with a concentration in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and her PhD in Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School. Dr. Hashemi has worked for various organizations including Forum 2000 and The Journal of Civil Society. She is an adjunct professor of Political Science at Montgomery College where she teaches courses including Comparative Politics, International Conflict Resolution and a course she helped develop on Global Human Rights. Her current research focuses on illicit trade, human trafficking and corruption in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).


Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Women in International Security (WIIS). Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat has been President of Women in International Security (WIIS) since February 2013.

She was the founding and executive director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) North America (2012-2014).  Previous positions include: senior advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace Center for Gender and Peacebuilding; associate vice president and director of the U.S. Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program;  adjunct associate professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; and senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. She has also held senior positions at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC; and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva.

Her areas of specialization are: women, peace and security, gender, international organizations, arms control and disarmament, terrorism and countering violent extremism, peacekeeping, use of force, economic sanctions, U.S.-European relations.

Dr. de Jonge Oudraat is co-editor of The Gender and Security Agenda: Promoting Equality and Peace in the 21st Century (forthcoming 2019); Women and War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century (USIP Press, 2011); and Managing Global Issues: Lessons Learned (Carnegie Endowment, 2001).

Other recent publications include: “ WPS+GPS: Adding Gender to the Peace and Security Equation,” WIIS Policy Brief (November 2017); “Women, Gender and Terrorism: The Missing Links, WIIS Policy Brief (August, 2016); “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: the Role of Women and Women’s Organizations” in A Man’s World (CGCS and Hedayah Center, 2016); “Women In Combat: Learning from Cultural Support Teams,” WIIS Policy Brief, (August, 2015);  The 1325 Scorecard-Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions (NATO/WIIS, 2015); “Peace and Security in the 21st Century: Understanding the Gendered Nature of Power” in Managing Conflict in a World Adrift (USIP Press, 2015); UNSCR 1325: “Conundrums and Opportunities,” International Interactions, (No.4, 2013);“Mostly Sunny, Partly Cloudy-The transatlantic forecast for the next four years,” Atlantisch Perspectief, (No. 8, 2012);   ”Play it Again, Uncle Sam: Transatlantic Relations, NATO and the European Union” in Rewiring Regional Security in a Fragmented World (USIP Press, 2011).

De Jonge Oudraat did her undergraduate studies at the University of Amsterdam and received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Paris II (Panthéon).

She is a Dutch and US national.