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