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About Us

The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture is administered by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on behalf of the Secretary-General and with the advice of a Board of Trustees. The Fund’s Secretariat is composed of staff of the UN Human Rights Office, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The Secretariat is responsible for all administrative functions of the Fund, including monitoring and evaluating the use of grants, maintaining contact with contributors and grantees, public reporting and servicing the Board of Trustees.

In order to ensure accountability for grants, the Fund has developed a thorough methodology to evaluate grant applications, to select applications through a competitive review process and to monitor the implementation awarded grants.

Upon receipt of grant applications through the annual call for applications, the Fund’s Secretariat screens them for admissibility. It then conducts a thorough evaluation, beginning with a desk review and reference checks. As part of the evaluation process, on-site visits are conducted to all new applicants and periodically to on-going grantees. OHCHR field staff, the Fund’s Secretariat and Board of Trustees conduct the visits in order to assess the project applicant’s institutional capacity – including expertise, financial procedures and management – to respond to torture survivors’ needs. A detailed manual informs the visits and a mission report with supporting documents is drafted following the visit.

Based on the outcome of the Secretariat’s evaluation process and available income, the Board of Trustees recommends to the High Commissioner which grants to award.

Organizations that have been awarded a grant must then submit a final narrative report at the end of the year of project implementation. The report reflects the results achieved, as well as information about the number of victims who received assistance, including illustration through ten anonymous case studies. Disaggregated data on victims is broken down by sex, age, nationality, legal status and type of assistance provided to the beneficiaries. Grantees are also required to provide financial reports on the use of the grants on a yearly basis.

If the Secretariat receives allegations that a project has been mismanaged, the Guidelines of the Fund provide the payment of grants may be withheld, or a grantee may be requested not to spend an awarded grant, pending clarification of the situation. In some instances, the Secretariat or the Board may request that an organization refund a grant if it was spent in a manner not compatible with the approved application, unsatisfactory reports or other types of incompliance.

The Fund is administered in line with UN Rules and Regulations.