Issue Briefs

An issue brief is a position paper used to explain a company's posture on a law, regulation or issue. The audiences for these examples were state and federal regulators and business customers - generally not consumers - who had a vested interest in understanding a component of the company's operations or how it interpreted or complied with a particular regulation.

Human Trafficking vs. Human Smuggling

The 2009 Best Picture and ‘feel good movie of the decade,’ Slumdog Millionaire, is based on a dark and sordid issue. Recall that before the lead character, Jamal, wins millions on a TV game show, he escaped the grip of gangsters who brutally blinded children to make them more ‘appealing’ as indentured street beggars. Similarly, Jamal’s friend, Latika, would be forced into prostitution. This is human trafficking. And the movie’s happy ending is not the case for millions of vulnerable women and children worldwide. Then there is human smuggling, which involves the illegal movement of people across international borders. Human smuggling sounds similar to human trafficking but they are actually two different crimes with very different outcomes. Migrants seek and pay for the services of human smugglers. Human trafficking— which is more akin to slavery—is a truly heinous crime that deprives its victims of their most basic human rights.

Fee / Foreign Exchange Disclosure

Transaction fee, foreign exchange (FX) and consumer disclosure practices vary widely across the remittance industry. The variances exist not because a sub‐set of remittance companies are hiding or obfuscating their prices. Instead, they exist because of the differences in their chosen business and revenue models and, in many cases, their dependence on FX as a revenue source. This Issue Brief explains some of the revenue models and disclosure practices but, because of the differences between remittance companies, we focus primarily on Western Union.