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The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UNVTF), was established by the UN General Assembly in 2010, within the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The UNVTF aligns with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as the first global international legal framework to protect and assist victims of trafficking with respect for their human rights.
Administered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Trust Fund's mandate is to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in persons through established channels of assistance, including governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. The UNVTF is supported by a five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Secretary-General for a three-year term.
Through the funding of projects, the Trust Fund emphasises a victim-centred approach that aligns with the "3P" paradigm of "Prevention", "Prosecution" and "Protection", formulated under the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. This paradigm serves as the fundamental framework used by governments around the world to combat human trafficking and seeks to guarantee the rights of each individual victim.
Our global impact is demonstrated through our ongoing grants programme, which awards multi-year grants to specialised non-governmental organisations around the world that provide critical assistance to victims. In its first grant cycle (2011-2014), 11 NGOs from across the globe were selected and awarded grants for up to three years, totalling US$ 750,000.
In the second call for proposals, launched in 2014, grants were disbursed to 23 NGOs totalling US$ 1.25 million for projects providing tangible assistance to victims over a three-year cycle ending in 2017. In 2018, the priority of the third call for proposals is focused on projects assisting victims coming out of a context of armed conflict and those identified among large movements of refugees and migration flows. The Trust Fund successfully concluded its third call for proposals in 2019, receiving an overwhelming response from NGOs: 183 proposals were submitted from 72 countries across the globe. A total of 25 projects that provide essential assistance and protection to trafficking survivors globally have been selected for funding in 23 countries, thus far. Priority of the call focused on projects providing direct assistance to victims arising from armed conflict and those identified among large movements of refugees and migration flows. USD 2 million in grants will be awarded to the NGOs as part of its third grant cycle.
The Board is composed of 5 experts with relevant experience in the field of trafficking in persons, and is appointed by the Secretary-General with due regard to geographical representation to serve a three-year term. The Trust Fund is managed by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, which as Fund Manager, provides technical assistance to the Board of Trustees and administers the Fund.
2020 - 2023 term:
The Board’s new members as appointed by the UN Secretary-General, include
Ms. Julie Okah-Donli (Chair), former Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigeria;
Ms. Maria Susana V. Ople, President of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, Philippines;
Dr. Viktoria Avakova, Health and Anti-trafficking project coordinator at UMCOR-NGO, Armenia;
Ms. Inge Vervotte, former Belgian Minister for Civil Service and Public Enterprises, Belgium;
Mr. Alexis Bethancourt Yau, former Panamanian Minister of Public Security, Panama.
The five new members will serve a three-year term and provide strategic advice to the UNODC Trust Fund Secretariat in the management of the Fund.