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Purpose of the Fund

The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture is a unique UN operation that gives direct help to victims of torture and their families. It was established in 1981 by the General Assembly (resolution 36/151) to focus global attention on the needs of torture victims. The Fund’s aim is to help victims and their families to rebuild their lives and to seek redress for the human rights violations they have suffered.

How the Fund works

The Fund awards hundreds of grants to civil society organizations worldwide to deliver medical, psychological, legal, social and other assistance to the victims of torture. The voluntary contributions that the Fund receives, mostly from Member States, contribute to rehabilitation, reparation, empowerment and access to remedies for nearly 50,000 torture survivors each year.

The Fund is managed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the advice of a Board of Trustees composed of independent experts from the five regions of the world.

Beneficiaries of the Fund

The Fund awards grants to civil society organizations ranging from grassroots and survivor-led initiatives to well-established human rights organizations and rehabilitation centers. The Fund’s grantees provide direct services to torture survivors in situations of particular vulnerability including: children, youth, persons deprived of liberty, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants including asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons, LGBTI persons, people tortured in detention, victims of enforced disappearances, and victims of sexual violence in armed conflict, among others.

The Fund in 2023

In 2023, the Fund awarded 184 annual grants for civil society organizations to implement projects for direct assistance to torture victims, for a total of USD 8,931,000. The Fund also awarded six annual grants to help build the capacity of civil society organizations providing vital services to survivors.

In addition, the Fund allocated over USD 605,000 for emergency grants to be awarded on an as-needed basis throughout 2023 to respond to human rights and humanitarian crises.

Fact Sheet on 2023 activities (PDF)

List of grants in 2023 (PDF)

List of 2022 contributions (PDF)

2023 Projects

Key documents

Mission statement of the Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture: English | Français | Español (PDF)

Flyer for the Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture: العربية | English | Français | Español (PDF)

Latest reports

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture - Report of the Secretary-General: Presented in August 2020, this report outlines the activities undertaken by the Fund from 1 January to 30 June 2020, including its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. View document A/75/316

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture - Report of the Secretary-General: This report complements A/74/233, providing information on the activities of the Fund and the recommendations for grants adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Fund at its fiftieth session, held in Geneva from 7 to 11 October 2019. View document A/HRC/43/25

An introduction to the Fund: Healing through rehabilitation

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture assists more than 50,000 survivors of torture worldwide to access medical, psychological, social and legal services.

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Contact us

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture,
OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10,

Tel: (41) 22 917 9315
Fax: (41) 22 917 9017