Established by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery has “the purpose to provide, through established channels of assistance, humanitarian, legal and financial aid to individuals who are victims of contemporary forms of slavery.” Every year, it extends grant support to NGOs to implement projects that address “the most severe forms of human rights violations occurring in the context of slavery, as well as the most identifiable contemporary forms of slavery – chattel slavery, debt bondage, human trafficking, serfdom, child labour and servitude, forced labour, and/or forced marriage.” As per its grant cycle, the next call for proposals to fund projects for the year 2011 has been issued.
The Fund’s guidelines provide some insights as to what projects could possibly be funded: “Priority in allocating grants is given to projects addressing the root causes of slavery; providing direct medical, psychological, social, legal, humanitarian, educational or other forms of assistance, to victims of contemporary forms of slavery; combined with income generating activities; projects should consider the victims’ need for security, education, independence, and reintegration into society; projects should address the role that human suffering, discrimination, social hierarchy; poverty, gender inequalities and unemployment are playing in perpetuating contemporary forms of slavery; Organizations submitting applications are encouraged to integrate capacity building activities in their applications, which could include human rights and project management training.”
Application forms can be downloaded from the OHCHR website. The deadline to submit them is 31 March 2010. A Board of Trustees in its annual session held in September 2010 will make the final decision on grantees. Grants are disbursed from October to December 2010 for activities proposed to be started in 2011. For more information, visit this link.