Scotiabank Stepping up Fight to End Human Trafficking With New Funding for Innovative Programs

Scotiabank Stepping up Fight to End Human Trafficking With New Funding for Innovative Programs

Donations will support critical information sharing, takedown of child sexual abuse material

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

TORONTO, August 25, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, Scotiabank stepped up the fight against human trafficking and online child sexual exploitation. The Bank provided support to three organizations—the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, and The Knoble—that are facilitating crucial information sharing and combatting the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse material in a bid to end human trafficking around the world.

"Human trafficking and online child sexual exploitation continue to proliferate, and a coordinated, innovative response from across sectors is required to disrupt the flow of money to criminals who benefit from the suffering of others," said Karim Rajwani, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Financial Crimes Risk Management at Scotiabank. "These three organizations are leading crucial efforts to put an end to these heinous crimes once and for all."

Scotiabank's new support includes:

  • $20,000 USD for the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative, enabling the Bank to collaborate with other stakeholders to report activity and combat human trafficking through relationships with the broader community, regulatory officers and law enforcement personnel.
  • $250,000 for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to support Project Arachnid—an innovative tool to combat the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse material on the internet. In almost three years, Project Arachnid has detected more than 40 million suspected images of such material requiring further review and issued more than 8 million takedown notices to providers.
  • $50,000 USD sponsorship of The Knoble, a global network of experts preventing financial crime that harms vulnerable people. As one of the first Canadian organizations to join their corporate network, Scotiabank will help to support The Knoble's work on preventing human crime. The Knoble previously announced the launch of Project Umbra, co-led by Scotiabank's Rajwani. This is a multi-stakeholder collaboration to reduce child sexual exploitation in the US by identifying financial indicators and increasing suspicious activity reporting. This initiative leverages the ground-breaking work of Project Shadow.

In December 2020, Scotiabank was instrumental in launching Project Shadow, a public-private partnership co-led by Scotiabank and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and supported by FINTRAC and law enforcement, to improve understanding of the threat and better identify the patterns of financial activity associated with online child sexual exploitation in order to stop it. The Bank is also involved in efforts to help victims of human trafficking to rebuild their financial independence through its Financial Access Program, creating a referral system with non-government organizations (NGOs) and linking survivors to financial services, such as chequing and savings accounts, a credit card and financial literacy training.

Additional Quotes

"The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) is delighted to announce our affiliation with Scotiabank, which reflects our global leadership in facilitating intelligence integration and technology advancement to combat human trafficking and child exploitation. Their charitable donation is helping ATII to uphold our ESG priorities and to achieve our UN Sustainable Development Goals (5, 8, and 16) by combating human trafficking across the globe. As public and private organizations continue to collaborate in the creation of a uniform front within the financial sector to fight human trafficking, we will see a true impact in educating the financial services industry, including not only risk & compliance staff, but also frontline workers like tellers, relationship managers and branch leaders."
– Aaron Kahler, Founder and Chief Executive, Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative

"Scotiabank has been a leader in better understanding the ways in which financial services can be misused to facilitate the distribution of child sexual abuse material. We are thrilled to once again be collaborating with Scotiabank in advancing the ways by which Project Arachnid can further identify and combat the commercialization of these heinous crimes against children."
– Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

"The Knoble is thrilled to have Scotiabank join as a sponsor and join our initiatives to prevent human crime that harms the vulnerable around the world. We recognize and appreciate Scotiabank's leading approach to focusing not only on regulatory compliance but going above and beyond to help prevent financial crimes of human exploitation.  We look forward to continuing the great work together with Project Umbra, as we accelerate the work needed to reduce child exploitation."
– Terry Schappert, Head of Financial Institution Relationships, The Knoble

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future", we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of approximately 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.1 trillion (as at April 30, 2021), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit http://www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For media inquiries only: Clancy Zeifman, Global Communications, 416-933-1864, clancy.zeifman@scotiabank.com