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The work of the Fund is guided by the advice of an independent Board of Trustees, comprised of a Chairperson and four members, one from each geographical region. Members are appointed by the Secretary-General for a three year period, renewable once. They have expertise in human rights, in particular contemporary forms of slavery, and other relevant fields such as fundraising and project management.

Mr. Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman (Honduras) is a Doctor in Psychology and specializes in trauma-informed care and the mental health services to survivors of contemporary forms of slavery. As a male survivor of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, he has become an outspoken public advocate and active member of survivor networks. In 2015, he was appointed by then President of the United States of America to serve as a member of the federal Advisory Council on Human Trafficking until 2018. As an international expert consultant, Mr. Piraino-Guzman specialized in the mental health of victims of gender-based violence and has also worked at the Anti-Trafficking Response Network of the International Rescue Committee. Mr. Piraino-Guzman is the Director of Clinical Outpatient Services at the Orangewood Foundation (Orange County, California).

Mr. Piraino-Guzman is the current Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and has been a member since 2020.

Mr. Danwood Mzikenge Chirwa (Malawi) is a professor in public law and a former Head of, the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town. He has worked with numerous international and African non-governmental organizations. Mr. Chirwa is the former Secretary-General of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers and has served on the board of directors of organizations including the Open Democracy Advice Centre, the Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (RAPCAN) and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI). He is the author of various publications on international law and in particular on the issue of children’s rights.

Mr. Chirwa served as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees in 2021-2022 and has been a member since 2017.

Ms. Hina Jilani (Pakistan) is an international human rights lawyer, specializing in the rights of women, children, minority groups and prisoners. She is the co-founder of the first all-woman law firm in Pakistan, helped establish the first legal aid centre in her country and the Dastak Charitable Trust women’s shelter and has litigated numerous landmark cases. Ms. Jilani has also served as an UN independent expert, including on the Global Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women (2012-2015) and as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders (2000-2008). She has received numerous honours in recognition of her career and has been a visiting professor at Columbia, Georgetown and Oxford universities.  In 2013, she was appointed a member of The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela. 

Ms. Jilani has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2020.

Ms. Ecaterina Schilling (Republic of Moldova) is a sociologist and philologist specialized in the links between irregular migration and human trafficking. She has worked in the field of screening, interviewing and rehabilitation of trafficking survivors for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Turkey and the United Kingdom. Ms Schilling also worked on migration issues with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program. She has over a decade of experience in outreach and public speaking against contemporary forms of slavery, and has trained consular staff, NGOs and law enforcement officials on the identification and empowerment of trafficking survivors. She served as a Trustee and Board Member for the International Programme of Her Equality Rights and Autonomy (HERA).

Ms. Schilling has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2020.

Ms. Georgina Vaz Cabral (France) is a lawyer and an international expert on human trafficking. She worked on anti-trafficking efforts for over 20 years with various international and national institutions including the UNODC, IOM, European Commission, Council of Europe, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and, more recently, ECPAT. She served as an Adviser to the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE (2010-2018) and was a member of the European Commission Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings (2009-2011). She is a Board member of the anti-slavery NGO, Comité Contre l’Esclavage Moderne, where she started as a volunteer and served as project manager (1998-2003). She is the author of several publications on trafficking and slavery-related issues including the book: “La traite des êtres humains : Réalités de l’esclavage contemporain” (Ed. LaDecouverte, 2006).

Ms. Vaz Cabral served as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees in 2018-2020 and has been a member since 2017.

Functions and Working Methods

In the exercise of its advisory functions, the Board of Trustees recommends grant applications, advises on policy matters and engages in fundraising and outreach, including holding consultations with donors, project leaders and strategic partners.

The Board collaborates extensively with other UN mechanisms, notably the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons and the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children.

The Board of Trustees meets once a year, in November in Geneva, Switzerland. During its one-week session, the Board determines priorities, reviews policies and practices, and adopts recommendations on grants. Board members also periodically hold inter-sessional calls with the Fund’s Secretariat and other stakeholders.