The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is firmly dedicated to ensure that the right of victims to reparations under the Rome Statute becomes a meaningful reality. More than eleven years have elapsed since the sufferings of victims in the Lubanga case. The time has come to deliver on their rightful expectations.
At its 12th Annual Meeting held from 17-19 March 2015 in The Hague, the Board of Directors of the TFV had the timely opportunity to consider the very first final reparations order issued by the ICC Appeals Chamber on 3 March 2015 in the case against Mr Thomas Lubanga, who has been convicted for the conscription, enlistment and use of child soldiers under the age of 15 in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
To assure an appropriate response to the harm suffered by victims in this case, the TFV reaffirms its commitment to consult with victims, their communities and other stakeholders in the course of drafting an implementation plan for reparations, which is due on 3 September 2015.
From right to left: Motoo Noguchi (Chair, TFV Board), Elisabeth Rehn (TFV Board),
Vaira Vike-Freiberga (TFV Board), Sayeman Bula-Bula (TFV Board), Judge
Sylvia Fernandez de Gurmendi (ICC President), Denys Toscano SAmores (TFV Board),
Shamila Batohi (OTP)
Effectively delivering reparative justice to victims depends on close collaboration between the TFV and the ICC. This requirement strongly featured in the engagements between the TFV Board of Directors and the ICC President, Judge Sylvia Fernandez, as well as the ICC Registrar, Mr Herman von Hebel.
The TFV Board confirms its intent to advance its resources from its reparations reserve for the purpose of collective reparations awards, in consideration of Mr Lubanga’s current financial status as well as the absence of any other resources available for this purpose. The TFV Board also confirms that it is prepared to respond to the Appeals Chamber’s suggestion to consider the use of the TFV’s assistance mandate to address the harm suffered by those falling outside of the scope of the reparations order, including victim survivors of sexual and gender based violence and other affected groups and communities. The TFV Board will hold a special meeting in late July to review the development of the draft implementation plan.
The Board decided to raise its reparations reserve with additional € 1.2 million to a total of € 4.8 million to boost the TFV’s future ability to complement collective reparations awards. The Board furthermore decided to obligate another € 2.9 million to its assistance programmes in northern Uganda and DRC, as well as significant resources to sustain the expansion of the TFV’s activities under the assistance mandate and to improve systems supporting programme development and implementation.
The TFV Board of Directors strongly appeals to States Parties, as well as to private donors, to make voluntary contributions to sustain and further develop its ability to implement its reparations and assistance mandates under the Rome Statute. Next to unrestricted contributions, the TFV welcomes contributions earmarked to SGBV victim survivors, to the TFV’s reparations reserve and to the psychological rehabilitation of victims.
The Trust Fund for Victims welcomes the delivery of the landmark judgment of 3 March 2-15 by the Appeals Chamber on reparations in the Lubanga case.
Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the TFV Board of Directors, stated, "This is a very important judgment which has set out the principles on reparations and the final reparations order for the first time in the ICC's history. The principle is particularly encouraging for victims in stating that the reparation scheme in the Statute is a key feature and that the success of the Court is, to some extent, linked to the success of its system of reparations. The judgment will trigger the implementation of reparations order that has been long-awaited by victims of the case. The Board and the Secretariat will take all necessary action, in close collaboration with victims and all relevant stakeholders, for the successful implementation of the order. On this opportunity the Board also like to express its sincere appreciation for the work of outgoing judges of the Appeals Chamber and wishes them all the best."
The Board of Directors will hold its annual Board meeting from 17-19 March 2015 in The Hague, in which it will discuss as one of the most important agenda items the implementation of this reparations order. The Board meeting will be preceded by a seminar of 16 March on the psychological rehabilitation of victims, co-hosted by the Embassy of Latvia and the TFV, at which Board member Dr. Vaira Vīķe -Freiberga will deliver the keynote speech.
From December 8th to 17th, the 13th annual session of the Assembly of States Parties took place in New York to discuss and consider amendment proposals regarding issues central to the Court’s operations. During the Assembly’s General Debate, States Parties delivered statements to fellow States Parties, civil society representatives and regional and international organizations, expressing their support, concerns and recommendations for the coming year. Many of these statements expressed continued support for the TFV and emphasized the need for continued assistance to victims of the gravest crimes.
Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa of Japan highly welcomed the work of the Trust Fund for Victims, led by the Chair of the Board of Directors, Mr Motoo Noguchi of Japan. Highlighting Japan's voluntary contribution of approximately €600,000 to the Trust Fund for Victims in 2014, Mr Yoshikawa indicated that Japan will continue its support for the victims of armed conflict, including the victims of sexual violence.
On behalf of Australia, Dr. Greg French delivered a statement which noted Australia’s donation of $200,000 to the TFV this past year and affirmed the importance of supporting victims’ and witnesses’ participation in Court proceedings. Statements delivered by Bangladesh’s representative Mr. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ireland’s representative Mr. James Kingston and Hon. Vasili Basiru Potier Mahoney of the Gambia, also expressed appreciation and support for the TFV, encouraging donors to enhance the flow of resources to the TFV in coming years. Belgium and the Republic of Korea, too, stated their commitment to support the TFV in fulfilling its mandate to assist victims and promised to continue their voluntary funding in 2015.
In addition, the Netherlands and Equador called upon States Parties to improve their cooperation with the TFV in order to advance the development of international criminal justice. Ms. Satu Suikkari-Klevin expressed Finland’s strong support for the reparations and assistance mandates of the TFV, commending the TFV’s work in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Numerous other states including the Gambia, Latvia, Slovenia, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, also declared their continued appreciation and support for the work of the TFV.
Please find each States Parties’ full statement available below.
On the 8th of December 2014, Mr. Motoo Noguchi addressed the Thirteenth Session of the Assembly of States Parties, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV). Mrs. Elisabeth Rehn and Denys Toscano Amores were also present on this occasion.
Mr. Noguchi began by expressing a warm welcome and congratulations to the newly elected President of the Assembly of States Parties, His Excellency Mr Sidiki Kaba, and thanking the out-going President, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, for her unwavering support of the TFV throughout her tenure.
Mr. Noguchi presented the newly approved Strategic Plan 2014-2017 to the States Parties, and encouraged States Parties to voluntarily contribute donations to the TFV, reiterating that "to become a TFV’s donor demonstrates the moral and political support to the reparative justice aspect of the Rome Statute system, irrespective of the size of contribution".
The two most pressing developments envisaged for the TFV are "the implementation of the first reparations orders in the history of the ICC, and the expansion of the TFV’s assistance programmes to more situation countries".
Whilst Mr. Noguchi reiterated that "the concrete role and responsibility of the TFV in the formation and implantation of reparations orders are yet to be decided", the next few months promise to mark an ambitious juncture for the TFV with regards to our reparations mandate. Full speech available here
The Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is pleased to announce that the voluntary contributions by States Parties to the TFV in 2014, has once again reached an unprecedented level. In total, the TFV received over €5 million euros in voluntary contributions, compared to €4.5 million in 2013. In addition, the TFV notes an emerging interest of private donors to engage with the Fund.
According to Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the Board of Directors, the growing support "shows an irreversible trend of supporting the key mandates of the Trust Fund for Victims in addressing the plight and rights of victims, their families and communities, within the framework of the Rome Statute system". Mr Noguchi expressed the Board's strong appreciation of States Parties continuing to support the TFV on an annual basis, including through multi-annual arrangements such as with Sweden and Finland, and welcomed new contributors, such as Japan.
In 2014, the TFV received two donations of over one million euros. The United Kingdom made contributions of in total over €1.5 million, earmarked to the support to victim survivors of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), which includes a £ 1 million (€1.1m) contribution announced by Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, June 2014 in London. Sweden contributed over €1.3 million of unrestricted resources, which is the second instalment of a three year funding arrangement.
Finland made a contribution of €300,000 of unrestricted resources, in addition to a third instalment of € 200,000 under the 2012-2015 multi-year arrangement, earmarked for SGBV victim survivors. Furthermore, Japan emerged as a strong new donor in 2014, contributing around €600,000 of both unrestricted and SGBV earmarked resources.
Private individuals, including staff at the International Criminal Court, have continued to support the TFV. A significant donation of €75,000 was made by the contractors involved in the construction of the new permanent premises of the ICC in The Hague and the TFV wishes to express its appreciation to the Project Director for his efforts in this regard.
A promising initiative has emerged in Finland, where government officials have reached out to their professional networks, resulting in the establishment of a private association, chaired by Ms Elisabeth Rehn, which is to raise interest in and financial support to the TFV. The initiative was announced during the TFV's successful side event during the 13th Assembly of States Parties in New York and is already attracting the interest of other States Parties.
In accordance with its Strategic Plan 2014-2017, the TFV intends to intensify its private fundraising efforts in 2015 in synergy with Stats Parties’ donor support.
The Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) has approved the final version of the TFV Strategic Plan for the period 2014-2017. Building on the foundations of the previous plan, which ran from 2009-2013, as well as on the insights and experiences gained over the past six years, the new plan presents a carefully considered strategic outlook for the TFV over the next four years.
The TFV Strategic Plan 2014-2017epitomises the reparative justice paradigm of the Fund’s mandates under the legal framework of the Rome Statute. Under the new plan, the TFV mission is to “respond to the harm resulting from the crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC by ensuring the rights of victims and their families through the provision of reparations and assistance.”
Victims take centre stage in the strategic goals, as the TFV aims to ensure that “victims and their families overcome harm, lead a dignified life, and contribute towards reconciliation and peace-building within their communities as a result of support provided by the TFV.”
Other strategic goals of the TFV concern fundraising, communication and effective organisational development. The plan addresses the collaborative partnership between the TFV and the ICC and the role of States Parties in ensuring the proper institutional capacity of the TFV. The plan is accompanied by a comprehensive risk management framework and risk register. A comprehensive performance monitoring plan is in development.
The TFV Strategic Plan 2014-2017 has been nurtured by the findings and recommendations of an external programme evaluation and by a risk management framework, which were both completed in the course of 2013. Key stakeholder validation was ensured by consultations with States Parties and civil society organisations.
To read the plan and its annexes, go to:
A French language version of the plan is in development will be published shortly.
The Conference “Africa and the International Criminal Court: Lessons Learned and Synergies Ahead” organised by Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) took place in Johannesburg on the 9-10 of September 2014. Mrs. Elisabeth Rehn, Former Chair and Member of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, addressed the Conference on the Theme "Intensifying ICC Cooperation in Africa" highlighting the voices of victims in Africa situation countries before the ICC.
She confirmed that the TFV remains ready to intervene when circumstances will allow. She also acknowledged the efforts of UN Women, the AU and African women's organizations in the Central African Republic.
She highlighted the dual assistance and reparations mandates of the TFV and how future reparations awards will impact the TFV’s programs.
Mrs. Rehn concluded that over the next four years, the TFV’s strategic plan shapes its unique role alongside the ICC by contributing to community reconciliation and peace-building.
She also mentioned that it would be the first time the Rome Statute’s victim-centered approach to reparations will be translated from a paper concept into a reality on the ground.
For further details please read the text of her speech.
The Hague – On July the 28th, Ireland donated €50, 000 to the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court.
The Irish contribution will enable the Trust Fund for Victims to provide further assistance to the victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC.
As a long-standing supporter of the Trust Fund for Victims, the Government of Ireland has consistently demonstrated its strong commitment to the fight against impunity and to recognize the need to provide assistance to the people who suffered harms as a result of crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC.
On 17th July 2014, Courtys (a combination of Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, part of the VolkerWessels Group) made a donation of € 75,000 to the International Criminal Court Trust Fund for Victims. The donation was made on the occasion of the commemoration of the Day of International Criminal Justice and it was handed over at the construction site of the Court’s new Permanent Premises in The Hague. This amount is a result of both Courtys’ contribution, and its initiative to invite its partners to participate in a joint donation.
Courtys is the contractor for the construction of the new ICC Premises in The Hague. The company took part in the commemoration of 17th July, Day of International Criminal Justice, jointly with the Permanent Premises Project Team of the International Criminal Court and the Trust Fund for Victims. Present at this event were representatives from Courtys’ subcontractors who also contributed to the initiative.
The donation of € 75,000, which is the largest private contribution received by the TFV to date, signals the recognition by the private sector of the importance of the ICC in the fight against impunity, as well as the unique role of the Trust Fund for Victims to address the harm suffered by victims as a result of crimes under jurisdiction of the ICC.