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About Funds and Grants

OHCHR and other United Nations offices administer funds and grants to support civil society actors in specific fields. Civil society organisations, such as NGOs, grass-roots organisations, community groups and professional associations, are generally eligible to apply for the funds and grants. In some cases individuals may also apply for funding.

The UN funds and grants administered by OHCHR are:

OHCHR Humanitarian Funds

The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery are humanitarian funds administered by the Secretary-General through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Funding is obtained by means of voluntary contributions from governments, non-governmental organisations, private or public entities and individuals.

  • The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture offers grants to civil society actors assisting victims of torture and members of their families.
  • The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery provides small project grants to civil society organisations assisting victims of contemporary forms of slavery.

The Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations provides travel grants to facilitate the participation of representatives of indigenous communities and organisations in sessions of the following United Nations bodies and mechanisms: The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII, since 2001);
The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP, since 2008); and
The Human Rights Council (including its Universal Periodic Review) and human rights Treaty Bodies (since 2010).

The Special Fund of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture
The Special Fund was established pursuant to article 26 of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture to help finance the implementation of the recommendations made by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment after a visit to a State party to the Optional Protocol, as well as education programmes of National Preventive Mechanisms.

The “Assisting Communities Together” (ACT) Project which provides small grants to support local human rights training and education initiatives.

The United Nations Democracy Fund*, which provides funding for projects that build and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights and ensure the participation of all groups in democratic processes;

*While administered by other United Nations offices, OHCHR has a designated role in this fund.