In March 2016, the Secretary-General created the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, as indicated in his report on Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (A/69/779). The Trust Fund supports United Nations and non-United Nations entities and organizations that provide victim assistance and support services.
The transformation of projects, supported by seed funds for income generation activities, to sustainable economic empowerment, are being actively pursued with the support of development actors, including United Nations Funds and Programmes present in the field and other international and local partners. The Trust Fund, along with the support of partners, makes efforts to further capture the voice of victims and collects their feedback on the projects they participate in, as well as inputs on future project needs.
The Trust Fund provides funding to:
a) specialized services, which provide assistance and support required by complainants, victims and children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), including medical care, legal services, and psycho-social support;
b) service gaps in the provision of assistance and support;
c) community outreach; and
d) additional support and communications for complainants, victims and children born as a result of SEA.
Trust Fund governance
The Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC) is the Trust Fund Implementing Office (IO). The Trust Fund Programme Manager is the Conduct and Discipline Service (CDS) in DMSPC Office of Human Resources / Administrative Law Division. The Trust Fund Certifying Officer is DMSPC Executive Office.
The Trust Fund Review Committee comprises members from Secretariat Offices, Departments and UN agencies funds and programmes. The Victims’ rights Advocate is a member of the Committee and is also a key source of guidance on Trust Fund matter. The Review Committee approves eligible proposals in accordance with the Trust Fund Terms of Reference, and existing regulatory and programme management frameworks. The IO consults with the Victims’ Rights Advocate on eligible proposals prior to the meeting of the Review Committee.
Contributions to the Trust Fund can be made from Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, private institutions or individuals.
Between 2016 and end 2019, the Trust Fund portfolio received voluntary contributions from 21 Member States (Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Cyprus, Ecuador, Finland, Germany India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, and Uganda) in the amount of over USD 2.5 million, including approximately USD600,000 representing payments withheld following substantiated allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations personnel.
Submitting projects proposals
Conduct and discipline practitioners, Field Victims’ Rights Advocates, relevant UN entities networks such as Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Gender-Based Violence networks play a crucial role to identify and inform the IO of any local assistance and support service gaps that could be addressed through funding. They can also coordinate proposals and project ideas for submission to the IO.
The Trust Fund is not intended as a financial compensation programme and will therefore not disburse funds directly to individual victims and/or children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse. The Trust Fund provides funding to eligible entities or organizations that provide assistance and support services to these beneficiaries.
Entities from the UN system (Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes) and non-UN organizations that provide assistance and support to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse and children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse are eligible to submit project proposals.
Project proposals can be submitted on a rolling basis, by open call and/or specific invitations. A Trust Fund Management Toolkit which includes project proposal and other templates developed by the IO offers relevant guidelines for completion and submission of project proposals. All proposals should include a detailed breakdown of activities and related cost. Conduct and discipline practitioners and relevant networks should conduct an initial review of proposals in line with established criteria. A list of eligible proposals shall be transmitted to the IO for review and action.
The IO shall review eligible proposals and prepare a short-list of proposals with recommendations to the Review Committee for final approval and selection. Support and service gaps and project proposals shall be reviewed in consultation with the Victims’ Rights Advocates at Headquarters and in the field, as appropriate.
The Trust Fund Review Committee shall approve eligible proposals in accordance with the Trust Fund Terms of Reference, and existing regulatory and programme management frameworks. The IO consults with the Victims’ Rights Advocate on eligible proposals prior to the meeting of the Review Committee.
The Review Committee shall select proposals according to their direct linkage to the purpose of the Trust Fund, including:
- relevance to the assistance and support service needs of the location;
- cost effectiveness and fiscal responsibility in relation to providing the services; and,
- the ability of the implementing partner to monitor and report on performance to the IO.
When a project proposal is approved, an agreement is signed between the UN and the implementing partner to specify the terms and conditions under which the IP receives funds, as well as the monitoring and evaluation modalities.
Mapping exercises to identify in-country service providers, conducted in close coordination with UN field missions, agencies, funds and programmes, Community-Based Complaint Networks, Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Task Forces and non- governmental organizations, were essential to identifying gaps in the provision of sustainable support and assistance to victims in project locations.