Emergency Grants from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture

Since 2008, the UN Torture Fund has responded to human rights and humanitarian crises through its emergency grants procedure. The procedure provides the Fund with flexibility to approve projects outside of the regular annual grants cycle in order to provide timely support to organizations faced with an unforeseen increase in number of torture victims requiring their assistance.

Organizations may apply for emergency grants for the following situations:

  • Human rights situation – stemming from human rights monitoring activity, such as findings of torture victims in state-run institutions, initiation of a landmark trial, sudden increase in detainees, the mass release of political prisoners, etc.
  • Humanitarian situation – such as armed conflict, the sudden influx of refugees and asylum seekers, political strife or uprising, natural disasters, etc.
  • Individual situation – a torture victim’s urgent need of assistance. The application must be submitted by an organization on behalf of, and with the consent of, the victim.

Organizations are required to provide a clear justification of the emergency context, including:

  • Complexity of the environment - such as conflict situation, political crisis, repressive regime, compromised access to justice, limited space for civil society, multitude of perpetrators including non-state actors, etc.
  • Urgency of the situation - weighed against the intensity of violence, as well as potential impact of the intervention to be supported through the emergency grant, etc.
  • State’s capacity to respond. Inability or unwillingness of the State to respond to the situation described;
  • Unforeseen nature of the situation - explanation of why the organization could not have applied to the Fund through the regular annual grants cycle.

Organizations may apply for emergency funding at any time during the year. An emergency grant cannot be renewed or prolonged and may cover a period of 12 months maximum. Emergency assistance will not be granted as a response to cash flow difficulties that organizations awarded a grant under the UN Torture Fund’s regular annual cycle may be experiencing during the inter-sessional period.

To submit an emergency application online, please click here: Access the on-line application System (GMS)

Emergency grants procedure – EN/FR/SP

Special Calls

In response to the needs of torture victims that have arisen due to specific crises, the Fund has also issued special calls for emergency grant applications, including in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2012, the crisis in Mali in 2013, the civil war in Syria in 2015, and the Rohingya refugee crisis in 2018.

For more information, please see info note on the most recent Special Call in support of Rohingya torture victims in Cox’s Bazar.