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UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples was established in 1985 by GA resolution 40/131 and gives indigenous peoples the opportunity to participate in the sessions of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Human Rights Council, including its Universal Periodic Review mechanism, and the treaty bodies. In 2012, the mandate of the Fund was  expanded to include support for indigenous peoples to participate in the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held in 2014.

Over the years, the Fund has enabled more than 1,600 indigenous representatives to participate in UN processes and mechanisms, thereby ensuring that the voices and concerns of indigenous peoples are heard at the UN and contributing to increased international awareness of the rights, status, and conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide. 

The Fund has also helped to enhance the capacity of many indigenous peoples and communities. For example, the Fund supports  human rights training in Geneva and New York, to increase the capacity of grantees and other indigenous representatives to effectively participate in human rights mechanisms.

The biannual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples submitted to General Assembly in 2014 (document A/69/278) contains further information of the recent developments concerning the Fund.

Value and Impact of the Fund 

How to contribute

The Fund is funded through contributions from Governments, NGOs, and other private or public entities. For information on how to contribute to the Fund, please contact the secretariat of the Fund.

Donors are invited to contribute annually to the Fund. For a list of recent contributions, please click here

Contact us

Mailing address:
United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Physical location:
48 Giuseppe Motta
1202 Geneva
Tel.: (41-22) 928 91 64
Email: indigenousfunds@ohchr.org


Video on the Voluntary Fund

A video about the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations has been produced to raise awareness about and promote the mandate of the Fund

Human Rights Funds, Grants and Fellowships - A Practical Guide for Civil Society

What you need to know about training and funding opportunities for human rights.
Available in A-C-E-F-R-S

Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society

Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)The essential reference to understanding what UN human rights mechanisms are and how to contribute to and benefit from their work.

Download the handbook
in A-C-E-F-R-S. You can also download one chapter at a time.

The Handbook is also available in English and French CD-Roms in DAISY and Braille formats for persons with visual and print disability.


CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: The deadline to submit applications to attend the 29th session of the Human Rights Council, the 22nd session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group as well as the sessions of treaty bodies taking place in Geneva between April and June 2015 is: 11 January 2015

The Fund
How to apply for a grant
Beneficiaries of the Fund


Treaty Bodies

Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review

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Information for civil society organizations
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