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Funding implementation

Legislation on violence against women should mandate a budget for implementation. Funding provisions in laws should include all, or a combination of, the following:

  • Create a general obligation on the Government to provide an adequate budget for implementation;
  • Request allocations of funding for specific implementation activities;
  • Allocate funds for use by civil society organizations to assist in implementation of the law;
  • Provide incentives for private funding related to implementation of the law; and
  • Remove restrictive provisions in laws that negatively impact funding for implementation.

(See: UN Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women, sec. 3.2.2) Funding is often also required as part of a national action plan to combat violence against women.

 

General obligations on the government

A general budget obligation to provide a funding stream for implementation of laws on violence against women is an excellent model for ensuring that the goals and activities of the law are achieved. As budgetary mechanisms among governments are variable, so too will be provisions in laws that designate government funding. The following examples highlight the approaches taken by various countries:

4. To earmark a special annual budget in the Ministry of Social Welfare and Social Services in the amount of NIS 4.2 million.

5. To earmark a special annual budget in the Ministry of Health in the amount of NIS 300,000 in order to provide medical services.

6. The Ministry of Social Welfare and Social Services must implement this Resolution within six months of the date they receive their budget.

7. Implementation of this Resolution throughout the first year of operation will be carried out in accordance with the quotas and budget determined above. Two months before the end of the first year of implementing this Resolution, the Chairman of the Permanent Directors General Committee Regarding Human Trafficking, in conjunction with the relevant parties, will provide an update about the implementation of the Resolution and the need to make adjustments for the coming years.

  • The Republic of Korea’s Act on Domestic Violence and Act on Sexual Violence mandate that the state provide support to related causes. The national budget of Korea has line item allocations reflecting this legislative mandate. See: Act on the Punishment of Sexual Violence and Protection of Victims, UN Secretary-general’s database on violence against women.
  • The Philippines’ Republic Act 9262 on domestic violence states in section 45 that: The amount necessary to implement the provisions of this Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA). The Gender and Development (GAD) Budget of the mandated agencies and LGUs shall be used to implement services for victim of violence against women and their children.
  • Spain’s Organic Act 1/2004 of 28 December on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence includes dedicated funding for education and public awareness related to violence against women in article 19.6: The cooperation instruments and procedures between the General State Administration and the Autonomous Communities on matters regulated herein shall include a commitment by the General State Administration to provide funding earmarked for the provision of these services.

 

Example – Canada
In Vancouver, the government found a unique way to provide some funding for training programs for police. Taking proceeds from civil forfeitures, the government allocated $250,000 to developing a training program for law enforcement on how to identify the highest-priority, highest-risk domestic violence cases so as to keep perpetrators in those situations from being released on bail. (See: Jonathan Fowlie, B.C. to train police, prosecutors on domestic violence, March 17, 2010)

 

Funding for NGOs and civil society

While states have a primary responsibility to protect and promote human rights, governments may not always be the best entity to provide particular services or to undertake particular activities. Accordingly, providing a dedicated funding stream for NGOs and civil society organizations to implement provisions of laws on violence against women is an important tool to reach out to victims in particular. NGOs often have long-standing relationships in communities and develop a trusted reputation as a safe haven. Moreover, funding for civil society, such as media organizations, can be an important way to ensure implementation of awareness-raising and education on violence against women. The following examples highlight approaches from various countries:

  • Bulgaria: Amendments to the Bulgarian Law on Protection against Domestic Violence in 2009 required a newly dedicated funding stream for NGOs to provide victim services. The new amendments were the result of sustained lobbying by a coalition of Bulgarian NGOs. (See Bulgaria funding case study in Domestic Violence Section)
  • The Czech Republic: Funds for implementation of the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking were guaranteed from the budget allocated to the Crime Prevention Strategy 2004 – 2007 and from an annual grant program on Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings and Assistance to its Victims. The Czech government allocated $283,000 to non-governmental organizations to provide comprehensive assistance and shelter to trafficking victims in 2008. See:  U.S. State Department 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report, 120, 2009; National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings 2008-2011, 35.
  • United States: The Violence Against Women Act, and its reauthorizations, provide significant funding for community-based groups and NGOs in the US. The funding is allocated through competitive grant programs targeting specific objectives such as court training and improvements, legal assistance for victims, culturally and linguistically specific services for victims, rural programs, transitional housing, university campus safety, engaging men and youth, sexual assault services, etc. See: Office on Violence Against Women, Grant Programs.

Importantly, ensuring adequate funding can also require changes in law to remove restrictions on the ways in which NGOs work, provide services, or use government funds. In some countries, for example, NGOs that take certain types of government funding may be prohibited from providing services to undocumented immigrants. This can impact many women who are victims of numerous types of violence, including sexual harassment, forced marriage, trafficking, FGM, or domestic violence to name a few examples. These and other similar provisions in laws should be removed to ensure that there is no implementation gap because of funding restrictions.

 

Private funding

Drafters should review national laws and policies to ensure that disincentives for private donors who may wish to fund implementation of programs to end violence against women are removed. Moreover, drafters should examine legislative and policy strategies to encourage private funding of violence against women programming. This might be in the form of taxation incentives, public-private partnerships, or matching grant programs to encourage private sector contribution to implementation of laws on violence against women.

 

Example – USA
The U.S. Secretary of State has established a Fund for Global Women’s Leadership focused on accelerating the movement to end violence against women. The Avon corporation, a company focused on products for women, has partnered with the Department of State to support the program and has provided US$500,000 funding for grants to NGOs that work to end domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence. See: Press Release, Avon Foundation (March 11, 2010.)

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