Purpose of the Fund
More than 40 million people around the world remain enslaved today. The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery brings relief to those whose human rights have been severely violated as a result of this affront to human dignity, abolished worldwide, but persisting in practice.
By awarding grants to civil society organizations, the Fund ensures that thousands of men, women and children subjected to slavery around the world today receive humanitarian, psychological, social, legal, medical, financial and other assistance.
The UN Slavery Fund is characterized by its victim-centred approach and its universality, its agility and ability to reach remote locations and empower grassroots initiatives. Its impact is felt on the ground, in the everyday lives of victims and survivors on their road to recovery.
As part of the UN anti-slavery framework, the Fund fills a niche of direct relief for victims and of building resilience for survivors and civil society. Through strategic partnerships, the Fund complements and leverages the monitoring, reporting, advocacy and advisory role of other UN mechanisms combatting contemporary forms of slavery.
How the Fund works
The Fund is managed by the United Nations Human Rights Office, with the advice of a Board of Trustees composed of five independent experts. Grants ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 USD are awarded yearly on a competitive basis. A call for proposals is open every year from 15 January to 31 March. The Secretariat of the Fund evaluates applications — including through on-site visits — and reviews grant implementation through the analysis of the narrative, financial and audit reports. The Board meets once a year to determine priorities, review policies and adopt recommendations on grants.
Beneficiaries of the Fund
Since its establishment by the General Assembly in 1991 (resolution 46/122), the UN Slavery Fund has awarded more than 8 million USD to over 400 organizations in more than 100 countries, providing rehabilitation and assistance to thousands of individuals whose human rights have been severely violated as a result of contemporary forms of slavery, including:
- Children in armed conflict
- Debt bondage
- Forced and early marriage
- Forced labour
- Traditional slavery
- Trafficking of persons
- Sale of children
- Sale of wives
- Sexual slavery
- Widow inheritance
- Worst forms of child labour
The Fund receives voluntary contributions from Governments, private or public entities and individuals.
The Fund in 2021
In 2021, the UN Slavery Fund awarded 37 annual grants to assist over 17,000 slavery survivors in 30 countries around the world for an amount of USD 729,650. This was possible thanks to the generous voluntary contributions of 10 Member States.
List of 2021
Grantees of the UN Slavery Fund (PDF)
Fact Sheet on 2021 Activities (PDF)
Summary of 2021 projects of the UN Slavery Fund (PDF)
2020 United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on contemporary forms of slavery - Report of the Secretary-General: This report provides an overview of the work of the fund, in particular the recommendations for grants adopted by the Board of Trustees at its twenty-fourth session (25 to 29 November 2019), as well as other recommendations and activities. View document
2019 United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on contemporary forms of slavery - Report of the Secretary-General: This report provides an overview of the work in relation to the fund, in particular the recommendations for grants to beneficiary organizations that were adopted by the Board of Trustees at its twenty-third session (26 to 30 November 2018), as well as other recommendations and activities. View document A/74/228
Flyer for the UN Slavery Fund (PDF)
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Brochure for the UN Slavery Fund (PDF) English
Guidelines for Grant Applications of the UN Slavery Fund (PDF)