FACTSHEET (4 March 2021)
"Collective reparations in the form of services to victims of the crimes for which Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was convicted"
The Trust Fund for Victims (“TFV”) at the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) will start the implementation of the collective service based component of the reparation award issued against Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo by the ICC. Trial Chamber II (“Trial Chamber”) has approved the programme activities proposed by the TFV selected implementing partner for the implementation of this reparation award on 14 December 2020.
Mr Lubanga was found guilty of and convicted for having committed the war crimes of enlisting and recruiting children under the age of 15 and using them to actively participate in hostilities. Following the issuance of the collective reparation award against Mr Lubanga by the ICC Appeals Chamber on 3 March 2015, Trial Chamber II issued the Order approving the proposed programmatic framework for collective service-based reparations submitted by the Trust Fund on 6 April 2017. It instructed inter alia the Trust Fund to start the selection of the implementing partner and report to the Chamber before finalising the contracts with the selected implementing partners. Trial Chamber II further set, on 15 December 2017, the amount of liability of Mr Lubanga at USD 10 million. The Appeals Chamber confirmed this decision on 18 July 2019. Based on the information related to the harm suffered by the victims recognized as beneficiaries through this decision and the amount of liability determined, the Trust Fund re-adjusted the programmatic legal framework and informed the Trial Chamber accordingly. Following a competitive bidding process, the Trust Fund selected the proposal to be implemented for the purpose of the collective service based reparations and submitted the information to the Trial Chamber. As Mr Lubanga is considered indigent, the Board of Directors of the TFV has complemented (to-date) the payment of this award with the amount of EUR 3.85 million and continues to strive to make more funds available through voluntary contributions by States and private actors.
The collective reparation award will be implemented through a partner contracted by the TFV to address comprehensively the psychological, physical and material harm suffered by a verified group of beneficiaries because they, or their children, were children under 15 years of age at the time of the crimes, who were enlisted, conscripted and/or actively used by the Force Patriotique pour la Libération du Congo ("FPLC") of Mr Lubanga in the hostilities in Ituri between 1 September 2002 and 13 August 2003. The purpose of the collective service based component of the reparation award is to promote the beneficiaries’ psychological and physical rehabilitation, and to improve their socio-economic situation as a form of reparation for the harm they suffered. Ideally, the beneficiaries should be enabled to lead a dignified life and be in a position to reintegrate, participate and contribute to their communities.
The TFV’s implementing partner will offer the beneficiaries and their families individualised care and support services in Ituri.
Duration: The maximum duration of the collective service based component of the award is 5 years, depending on the achievement of results and the availability of resources.
Location: The project will take place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the following localities of the Ituri province: Mambasa, Irumu, Djugu, Mahagi and Aru territories.
Beneficiaries: The eligibility of victims to access the collective reparation award is based on a list of beneficiaries determined by the Trial Chamber in its 15 December 2017 Decision or the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund, reviewed and approved by the Trial Chamber. To date, more than 1,000 individuals are included on the list. The implementing partner will provide the collective service based reparations exclusively to these eligible individuals. Two types of victims will benefit from the project: direct and indirect victims. Direct victims are former child soldiers. Indirect victims are individuals with a close personal relationship with direct victims, such as their family members, and any other individuals who have suffered harm in opposing the recruitment and use of children under the age of 15 years. Dependants of victim beneficiaries may also benefit from the collective reparations, e.g. through access to education.
Activities: The project aims at contributing to the improvement of the socio-economic situation of victims, and their physical and psychological rehabilitation. For this purpose, the organisation will use an approach in its operational activities as set out below:
(i) Physical rehabilitation : Organise the screening and/or initial medical diagnosis of the beneficiaries in coordination with local health structures associated with the programme through partnership protocols.
(ii) Psychological rehabilitation and mental health: Organise the initial diagnosis of the structures and community centres for psychological care in order to equip them and sign partnership protocols, provide psychological support to victims through consultations, therapeutic and focus groups, as well as conducting mediation and family reunification sessions.
(iii) Socio-economic rehabilitation: Support beneficiaries and their dependents in their processes of school reinsertion by providing scholarship and after-school classes; organise vocational training and income-generating activities (“IGAs”) of the beneficiaries’ choice and follow up after completion; distribute IGA kits to beneficiaries; train and support social counsellors from local associations and NGOs for peace and reconciliation; and provide additional support for the most vulnerable victims.
The implementing partner will apply an integrated and transversal strategy, thus exclusively responding to the needs and prejudices of beneficiaries and their families, by delivering services in these three areas of support, complemented by activities in relation to peace-building, gender inclusiveness and environmental protection.
In the launch phase of the project, the implementing partner will carry out consultations with the beneficiaries to make a diagnosis in order to correctly refer them to the services and activities they prefer. In addition, the partner will establish partnerships with community health and psychological centres to ensure that the activities can take place throughout the region.
Confidentiality and security of the beneficiaries and their families: All victim-related services will ensure their personal safety by keeping the name and identities of beneficiaries confidential. The TFV will train and sensitise staff of the implementing partner on how to maintain confidentiality.
Monitoring and evaluation: The Trust Fund will closely monitor the activities of the implementing partner and receive reports from the partner on a quarterly and annual basis. In addition, the Trust Fund will ensure independent evaluation of the impact of the reparations on the beneficiaries.