Drafters should include a provision for a crime victim’s restoration fund where none is already included in the criminal code or other laws. Funds should be administered according to existing regulations. Where regulations are not in place, drafters should consult Article 29 of the UNODC Model Law Against Trafficking in Persons.
Key regulations include how victims may apply for restoration funds, the basis for calculation of payments, the circumstances under which compensation may be paid, and the process for appealing a decision. Victims should be eligible for compensation regardless of whether the offender is identified, arrested or convicted. A victim’s immigration status, return to his/her home country or the absence of the victim from the jurisdiction shall not prevent payment of compensation from the crime victim’s restoration fund.
(See: UNODC Model Law Against Trafficking in Persons, Art. 29, 2009; Polaris Project Model Comprehensive State Legislation to Combat Trafficking in Persons, 3.5, 2006; Model Provisions for State Anti-Trafficking Laws, Center for Women and Public Policy, Providing Eligibility for Benefits under the State Crime Victims Fund Proposed Language, 9, 2005; State Model Law on Protection for Victims of Human Trafficking, Division D, Section 10, 2005)
Ghana’s Human Trafficking Act of 2005 contains provisions providing for the establishment of a “Human Trafficking Fund,” and also sets out the objectives of, management of, payment from, and accounting for the fund.
Establishment of Fund
20. There is established by this Act a Human Trafficking Fund.
Sources of money for the fund
21. The moneys for the Fund include
(a) voluntary contributions to the Fund from individuals, Organisations and the private sector,
(b) the amount of money that Parliament may approve for payment into the Fund,
(c) grants from bilateral and multilateral sources,
(d) proceeds from the confiscation of property connected with trafficking, and
(e) money from any other source approved by the Minister responsible for Finance.
Objective of the Fund
22. The moneys of the Fund shall be applied as follows:
(a) towards the basic material support of victims of trafficking;
(b) for the skills training of victims of trafficking;
(c) for tracing the families of victims of trafficking;
(d) for any matter connected with the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking in their best interest;
(e) towards the construction of reception shelters for trafficked persons in the districts; and
(f) for training and capacity building to persons connected with rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration.
Management of the Fund
23. (1) The Fund shall be managed by the Ministry.
(2) Moneys for the Fund shall be paid into a bank account opened for the purpose by the Ministry with the approval of the Minister for Finance.
Payment from the Fund
24. (1) Moneys issued from the Fund shall be by cheque signed by the accountant of the Ministry and any two of the following:
(a) the Chief Director of the Ministry;
(b) the secretary of the Management Board established under section 28, and
(c) one other member of the Management Board nominated by the members
of the Management Board.
(2) The Management Board shall develop guidelines for disbursements from the Fund.
Accounts and audit
25. (1) The Ministry shall keep books of account of the Fund and proper records in relation to them, in the form approved by the Auditor-General.
(2) The Ministry shall submit the accounts of the Fund to the Auditor- General for audit within three months after the end of the financial year.
(3) The Auditor-General shall, not later than three months after the receipt of the accounts, audit the accounts and forward a copy of the audit report to the Minister.
(See: Human Trafficking Act of Ghana, 2005.)
Promising Practice: Canada provides a comprehensive compensation programme which includes funds for counseling and expenses such as emergency shelter and food, transportation, dependent care, and lost wages. Services may vary by province, but generally Canada also provides funds for the costs associated with participating in a court process, including travel, interpretation and special accommodation for disabled victims. (See: Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime.)