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Voluntary contributions to support UN Human Rights’ activities are channelled and managed through nine United Nations trust funds, as well as three special funds. In addition, the Office receives contributions from United Nations multi-partner trust funds. While UN Human Rights encourages funding to be unearmarked whenever possible, contributions to some of these Funds must be specifically earmarked in order to be attributed.


I. UN Trust Funds administered by UN Human Rights

UN Trust Fund for the Support of the Activities of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Established in 1993 to supplement regular budget resources, it is the largest fund administered by UN Human Rights and it is used to manage approximately 75 per cent of all extra-budgetary funds received (especially unearmarked funds).

UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment
Established in 1981, it awards grants to organizations working to alleviate the physical and psychological effects of torture on victims and their families. The types of assistance provided by Fund-supported organizations range from psychological, medical and social assistance to legal aid and financial support.
Read more about the UN Torture Fund

UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples
Established in 1985, it provides indigenous peoples with the opportunity to raise issues faced by their communities at the international level and participate in the development and implementation of international standards and national legislation for the protection of their rights. Funds are distributed in the form of travel grants to enable indigenous peoples to participate in UN meetings and events.
Read more about the Indigenous Peoples Fund

UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights
Established in 1987, it supports national efforts at building human rights protection frameworks, including strong legal frameworks, effective national human rights institutions, independent judiciaries and vibrant civil society organizations.
Read more about the UNVFTC

UN Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
Established in 1991, it distributes small grants to grassroots projects that provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of contemporary forms of slavery. The Fund primarily focuses on projects that assist individuals who are suffering from the most severe forms of human rights violations occurring in the context of contemporary forms of slavery and other forms of exploitation.
Read more about the UN Slavery Fund

UN Trust Fund for a Human Rights Education Programme in Cambodia
Established in 1992, its aim is to contribute to the development and implementation of a human rights education programme in Cambodia to promote the understanding of and respect for human rights.

UN Voluntary Fund for Participation in the Universal Periodic Review mechanism
Established in 2008 to facilitate the participation of official representatives from developing and least developed countries in the UPR process and to provide training for the preparation of national reports.
Read more about the UPR Trust Funds

UN Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance for the Implementation of the Universal Periodic Review
Established in 2008 to provide financial and technical support to implement recommendations issued under the UPR review process, at the request of and in consultation with the country concerned.
Read more about the UPR Trust Funds

Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council
Established in 2013 through Human Rights Council resolution 19/26 to enhance the institutional and human rights capacity of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States through the provision of targeted training courses, travel assistance for delegates attending Council sessions and fellowship programmes.
Read more about the SIDS/LDCs Trust Fund


II. Special Funds administered by UN Human Rights

Contingency Fund
A Contingency Fund of US$1 million was established in 2006 by the Office to enable it to respond to human rights emergencies in a timely and adequate manner. The revolving Fund is maintained through voluntary contributions to facilitate, implement or carry out activities within the priorities, overall strategies and policies of the Office, in particular in the context of the establishment of a rapid response capacity. The Fund has greatly increased the capacity of UN Human Rights’ headquarters to provide conceptual and operational support to unforeseen mandates or situations that require a rapid response.

Special Fund established by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture
Established in 2006 through article 26 of OP-CAT, the objective of this Fund is to help finance the implementation of recommendations issued by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT), following a visit of the Subcommittee to a State Party, as well as education programmes of national preventive mechanisms (NPMs). Recommendations have to be contained in a report made public upon request of the State Party. Applications may be submitted by State Parties and NPMs, by national human rights institutions compliant with the Paris Principles and NGOs, provided that the proposed projects are implemented in cooperation with State Parties or NPMs.
Read more about the OPCAT Fund

Special Fund for the Participation of Civil Society in the Social Forum, the Forum on Minority Issues and the Forum on Business and Human Rights
Created in 2013 by Human Rights Council’s decision 24/118, its objective is to facilitate the broadest possible participation of civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders. It also aims to give priority to the participation of local or national-level non-governmental organizations active in relevant fields, with particular attention to participants from Least Developed Countries, in the annual meetings of the three forums. The Special Fund became operational soon after the receipt of the first contributions in 2014.


III. Multi-Partner Trust Fund (not administered by UN Human Rights)

UNSDG-Human Rights Mainstreaming Multi-Donor Trust Fund
Established in 2011 and administered by the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTFO), it provides support to the work of UN agencies and UN Country Teams in mainstreaming human rights and strengthening coherent and coordinated responses to national needs. Over the last decade, there has been significant progress in mainstreaming human rights into the work of the UN system. An increasing number of UN agencies are not only integrating human rights into their internal policies but are also actively advocating for human rights through their mandated work. The Trust Fund is used to support the placement of human rights advisers in UN Country Teams.
Read more about the MDTF