UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking in its First Year grants $300,000 to 12 Projects

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A newly launched UN fund has collectively awarded $300,000 to organizations in 12 countries from around the world that are engaged in helping victims of human trafficking seek justice, return home and otherwise recover from their ordeal.

This Small Grants Facility, launched earlier this year as part of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) managed UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.

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 “A unique approach is being employed by the UN to channel severely needed funds to survivors of the horrific crime of human trafficking,” said NODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said, appealing for greater financial support for the facility.

“There is a critical need for increased donations so that we can step up this assistance. There is no place for human trafficking in the world and the Small Grants Facility has a role to play in eradicating this inhumane act,” he added of a $32-billion global industry, which is currently estimated to be exploiting over 2.4 million people, two-thirds of them are women and children.

The 12 organizations that have been selected for the first year of the facility cover all major regions of the world. They are: this are African Centre for Advocacy and Human Development (Nigeria); Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (US); Damnok Toek Poipet (Cambodia); Different and Equal (Albania); DNI (Costa Rica); Hors la Rue (France); Hotline for Migrant Workers (Israel); Institute for Democracy (Moldova); La Strada (Czech Republic); Shakti Samuha (Nepal), The CRADLE – the Children Foundation (Kenya); and the Esther Benjamins Memorial Foundation (Nepal/India).

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The duration of projects varies from 10 months up to three years, during which the funding will assist in several areas, with the ultimate aim of empowering trafficking victims to regain their futures. The services include legal support to allow victims to seek justice against those who enslaved them; facilities to register their identities and return home, and much needed counseling, training and support to ensure they are in a position to rebuild their lives.

The trust fund was formed late last year after the General Assembly called for greater global action against human trafficking, particularly from the survivors’ perspective. It supports on-the-ground organizations and offers the opportunity for governments, the private sector, international organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs) and individuals to work together to help victims in practical and tangible ways.

The fund is administered by a board of trustees representing different regions and accepts donations to support these organizations working at the forefront of services to trafficking victims.

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