14 April 2015 - The UN Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, helps trafficking victims reclaim their dignity and their lives, an audience heard today at a high-level event held on the margins of the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
In his remarks, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said that the UN Trust Fund was helping today's victims become tomorrow's survivors.
"Some two thousand victims annually benefitted from direct assistance, including provision of shelter, basic health services, vocational training and schooling, as well as psychosocial, legal and economic support," he said.
Mr. Fedotov used his speech to bring home the appalling experiences of trafficking survivors, whose names had been changed to protect their anonymity. These survivors include girls such as Skye, trafficked to India when she was only 13 years old. Skye managed to escape back home to Nepal, and filed a case against her trafficker.
With the help of Shakti Samuha, a Nepal-based non-profit organization that received support from the UN Trust Fund, Skye won her case. She has now finished school and works as a staff member at the non-profit helping other survivors.
The event was chaired by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the chair of the board of trustees of the UN Trust Fund. Other speakers included, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, and Sunita Damuwar, President of the Board of Shakti Samuha and Paul Adepelumi, Executive Director of the African Centre for Advocacy and Human Development ACAHD.
The UN Trust Fund was established through the UN General Assembly's 2010 Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and is administered by UNODC. It provides humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims through governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Since it became operational in November 2010, the UN Trust Fund has received just over two million dollars in paid contributions from 19 countries and more than 30 private-sector donors.
A total of 11 projects in Albania, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Kenya, Israel, Moldova, Nepal, Nigeria and the US received nearly US$750,000 in the Trust Fund's first call for projects. A new project round will provide funds of nearly US$1 million for 17 projects.
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