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The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
In 1991, the United Nations General Assembly established the Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, through resolution 46/122, so that victims can access the help they need to recover. The Fund awards annual grants to civil society organizations delivering these services.
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/122, grants from the Fund shall be given to extend, through established channels of assistance, humanitarian, legal and financial aid to individuals whose human rights have been severely violated as a result of contemporary forms of slavery.
The purposes of the Fund are:
Funding shall be obtained by means of voluntary contributions from Governments, non-governmental organizations and other private or public entities.
The only beneficiaries from the Fund shall be:
The fund shall be administered in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of UN with the advice of a Board of Trustees composed of 5 persons with relevant experience in the field of human rights and contemporary forms of slavery in particular, who will serve in their personal capacity.
In the modern context, the circumstances of the enslaved person are crucial to identifying what practices constitute slavery. Elements of control and ownership, often accompanied by the threat of violence, are central to identifying the existence of slavery. The migrant worker whose passport has been confiscated by his or her employer, the child sold into prostitution, or the “comfort woman” forced into sexual slavery all have the element of choice and control of their lives taken from them and passed to a third party, either an individual or a State.
A stream of evidence presented to the United Nations human rights bodies gives an accurate picture of current slavery-like practices notably in the reports of the former Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, as well as studies and findings of Special Rapporteurs, namely:
The Board of Trustees has developed guidelines for the types of projects that may be funded and describing the application process in detail.