On 7 December 2015, French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira announced a voluntary contribution of €750,000 to the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court. The contribution is the single largest French donation to the TFV to date.
Minister Taubira announced the contribution during her visit to the ICC in The Hague today, where she met ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández, ICC Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut of France, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel, and TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan.
The President of the Court, Judge Silvia Fernández, thanked Minister Taubira for France’s contribution and highlighted the important position of victims in the ICC’s operations. “The justice that the Court provides must be meaningful to those most impacted by the crimes under our jurisdiction, and to achieve this, it is essential to give effect to the full range of retributive and reparative aspects of justice under the Rome Statute. For these purposes, this generous donation to the Trust Fund for Victims is an important contribution, and a reflection of France’s longstanding support of the Court”, President Fernández said.
On behalf of the Trust Fund for Victims, Executive Director Pieter de Baan expressed gratitude for the significant contribution, recalling that France was a strong supporter of the creation of the TFV at the time of the establishment of the Rome Statute in 1998 and that Ms Simone Veil has been the first Chair of the Board of Directors of the TFV during 2003-2009.
Mr De Baan further hailed the significance of the contribution indicating the resumption of France’s financial support to the TFV as an unprecedented institution to address the harm suffered by victims of the most heinous international crimes. The visit ended with a discussion highlighting the importance of improving proceedings on asset recovery for the purpose of reparations to victims. The ICC depends on State cooperation in this regard.
Please find the link to the document here.
At the fourteenth Assembly of States Parties during 18-27 November 2015 in The Hague, four members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) were elected for a next period of three years. Members of the TFV Board of Directors act in a personal capacity and on a pro bono basis. The newly elected Board assumes its functions on 1 December 2015.
Three candidates, nominated by the Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, and Western Europe and Other States respectively, were elected by acclamation. The member for the African States Group was elected from three nominations in a plenary vote. Due to the withdrawal of the nominated candidate representing Eastern European States just prior to the Assembly and following a new procedure adopted by the Assembly, the fifth Board member may be elected by the Bureau upon re-opening of the nomination period.
The following TFV Board members have been elected for the 2015-2018 mandate period:
Biographical details can be viewed here.
At the forthcoming Annual Meeting of the TFV Board of Directors on 22-24 March 2016, the TFV Board members will elect from amongst themselves the Chair for the new mandate period. In the meantime, Mr Motoo Noguchi will be the acting Chair.
The TFV at the 14th session of the Assembly of States Parties
At the opening of the Assembly, TFV Chair Motoo Noguchi expressed his gratitude to out-going Board members Dr Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Ms Elisabeth Rehn, who chaired the Board from 2009-2012, noting their departure after completing two terms of three years and stating that “their intellect, wide international experience and astute insights will be sorely missed”. He also thanked Board members Dr Denys Toscano Amores and Prof. Sayeman Bula-Bula for their services to the TFV during their term at the TFV Board of Directors.
In his report to the Assembly, Chair Noguchi further highlighted the significant stage of development of the Trust Fund for Victims, which in November 2015 submitted the first-ever draft implementation plan for reparations, as ordered by the International Criminal Court against Mr Thomas Lubanga Diylo, convicted for the enlistment, conscription and use of child soldiers under the age of fifteen in eastern DRC.
The TFV’s draft implementation plan is for collective reparations and was developed throughout 2015 by the TFV Secretariat with the support of international reparations experts, the ICC Registry, the TFV’s partners and on the basis of a thorough consultation process with potentially eligible victims and affected communities in the Ituri region in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Chair Noguchi expressed the Board’s appreciation of the efforts of the TFV Secretariat over the past year and in particular mentioned the departure of Ms Kristin Kalla, further to the restructuring of the TFV Secretariat within the framework of ReVision, noting that her tremendous contributions to the TFV over the past eight years have been a main driving force of the TFV’s programmatic and thematic development.
As to the further development of the TFV as a key instrument of reparative justice under the Rome Statute of direct interest to the States Parties, Chair Noguchi recalled that the Board of Directors decided in August 2015, taking into consideration the recommendations of the ReVision process and the views of the Secretariat, on a new structure of the TFV Secretariat. The purpose of the restructuring is to strengthen the TFV’s programme management capacity at the level of the field-based programme staff as well as to strengthen the overall financial and administrative management of the TFV’s resources. The classification process for posts in the new structure is to be completed in early 2016. Meanwhile, the partial endorsement of the TFV’s proposed budget for 2016 has raised the Board’s concern that this is weakening the organisational performance of the TFV in 2016 and likely to hamper its ability to expand its assistance activities to new situations.
The well-attended TFV side event during the Assembly, co-hosted by the Government of Japan, allowed the TFV Chair Noguchi to highlight the voluntary contributions for the TFV as the main source of funding for its activities under both the assistance and reparations mandates. In 2015, the unrestricted contribution of €1.3 million by Sweden was singularly important. Other States Parties have continued to contribute, albeit at a significantly lower volume of €2 million compared to the TFV’s annual revenue of around €5 million in the previous two years. This result signals the need for the TFV to reinvigorate, in close consultation with States Parties, its fundraising efforts with public and private donors.
In this regard, it is heartening that during the General Debate at Assembly of States Parties, numerous States Parties as well as civil society organisations highlighted the importance of victims within the Rome Statute system, with some indicating moral, political and financial support towards the further development of the Trust Fund for Victims. The Government of Bangladesh made its first contribution to the TFV in 2015. The governments of Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain have explicitly mentioned their continued support to the TFV in 2015.
The full statement of the Chair of the TFV Board of Directors at the opening of the 14th Assembly of States Parties can be read here.
For more information, please contact Trust.Fund@icc-cpi.int
In a landmark and unprecedented submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC), on November 3, 2015, the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) filed the draft implementation plan for collective reparations to victims in the case against Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
The Trust Fund’s draft implementation plan comes in response to the Judgement and Amended Order for Reparations issued against Mr Lubanga by the ICC Appeals Chamber on 3 March 2015. Mr Lubanga was convicted of conscription, enlistment, and the use of child soldiers under the age of 15 years in the Ituri district in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during 2002-2003.
The Trust Fund’s plan is part of a first initiative to respond to the suffering of victims of atrocity crimes under the Rome Statute and in this case seeks to address the rightful needs of thousands of child soldiers who were trapped in the conflicts that plagued eastern DRC.
Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the Trust Fund Board of Directors stated, "This submission is a milestone in the history of the Trust Fund and is especially so for the outgoing Board members. I am confident that it will contribute to the establishment of legally sound and operationally feasible mechanisms for reparations within the framework of the Rome Statute."
The TFV submission consists of two main parts: a legal filing and the draft implementation plan. The filing discusses the main legal and operational challenges related to the translation of the Appeal Chamber’s judgement and reparations order into a draft plan to design and implement reparations awards to the victims.
The Trust Fund’s draft implementation plan provides a detailed programmatic response, in the form of an integrated collective reparations award to be implemented over a three year period. The plan proposes to holistically address and rehabilitate the harm suffered by former child soldiers, as well as indirect victims of the crimes for which Mr Lubanga was convicted.
The Court declared that Mr Lubanga is liable for reparations but has yet to establish the amount of his liability. If the Court determines that Mr Lubanga is indigent for the purpose of reparations, the Trust Fund Board of Directors is prepared to complement €1 million to implement the draft reparations plan for victims in Ituri. In accordance with Trust Fund Regulation 56, this complement was devised in view of the scope and form of the draft implementation plan, the availability of TFV resources under its reparations reserve, in consideration of obligations under the Trust Fund assistance mandate, and taking into account ongoing legal proceedings that may give rise to additional reparation awards.
In developing and drafting the filing and draft implementation plan, the Trust Fund sought and obtained the support of a wide variety of actors. In May 2015, an international meeting of experts was convened in Belfast at the Ulster University, Transitional Justice Institute, to discuss and analyse the various legal and operational challenges of implementing Court-ordered collective reparations to victims in the Lubanga case. From May through July 2015, the Trust Fund conducted targeted consultation missions in Ituri, DRC, with a view to informing effected communities and potentially eligible victims about the Court’s reparations order and to solicit their specific feedback concerning the appropriate modalities of reparations within the scope of the reparations order.
At the request of the Trust Fund, the Victims’ Participation and Reparations Section of the ICC Registry conducted a victim mapping study in Ituri, which provided important information on the scope of victimisation and the location of potentially eligible victims. Other sections of the Registry provided support in the area of logistics, security, outreach, and external cooperation.
The Trust Fund Board of Directors convened meetings in March and July of 2015 to monitor progress and provide guidance to the Trust Fund Secretariat in the development of the filing and the draft implementation plan. The Executive Director Pieter de Baan said, “I am extremely proud of the tremendous effort of the Secretariat’s staff in The Hague and in the field, under the leadership of the Senior Programme Officer Kristin Kalla and with essential contributions by Scott Bartell and Katharina Peschke, to develop an implementation plan for collective reparations to former child soldiers that holds the promise of real and meaningful redress for the harm that they have suffered. This is the first time that a practical step is taken in the direction of fulfilling the promise of reparative justice to victims under the Rome Statute. Once the plan is approved by the Court, the Trust Fund is fully committed to follow through on a successful implementation, in consultation and coordination with the victims themselves and with all others who have a stake in the successful delivery of these reparations.”
The Trust Fund’s submission can be found on the ICC website here.
Dear Friends of the Trust Fund for Victims,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am proud to present the TFV 2015 Programme Progress Report, which provides programme highlights from our assistance programme for victims in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during the period of October 2014 to June 2015. The report also summarizes activities conducted under the reparation mandate in preparation for implementing the first Court-order for reparations in Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
TFV acknowledges all contributions and personal commitments made by the victim survivors, families, affected communities, implementing partners – some of whom are highlighted in this report – and have worked tirelessly on behalf of the TFV and often under very challenging circumstances.
As you may appreciate from the report, the success toward supporting victims under the assistance mandate - with physical and psychological rehabilitation, as well as material support - is a solid foundation to build the TFV’s practice of implementing Court ordered reparations to victims. Further to the instructions of the Court’s Appeals Chamber in its judgement and amended reparations order in the case against Mr Thomas Lubanga, we are in the final stages of drafting TFV’s first draft implementation plan for collective reparations, which is to be submitted to the Court by 3 November 2015. A wide range of intensive preparatory activities have been conducted, including , field-based consultations with victims and their communities in Ituri; a mapping of potential qualified victims conducted by the Registry’s VPRS; as well as, holding a first international expert meeting on the implementation of ICC reparations in Belfast, Northern Ireland with Ulster University.
This year has also been eventful for the TFV at the organisational level. From February to July 2015, audits by the Court’s independent Office of the Internal Auditor as well as the External Auditor reviewed programme management, systems, processes, and financial internal control environment. The auditors’ findings confirmed a positive assessment of the TFV’s programme management and internal controls.
To remain responsive to future challenges and the related increasing work load, the Board of Directors decided in August 2015 on a restructuring of the TFV Secretariat within the framework of ReVision. The TFV envisions the redesign of the TFV’s management and staffing structure to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2014-17 and both the assistance and reparations mandates. In particular, there is a need to enhance the Secretariat’s financial management and fundraising capacities and strengthen situation-based programme management.
Several posts are affected by the restructuring, including the current senior management structure of the Secretariat but the abolishment of posts will be managed in a phased approach given the size of the Secretariat and workload. Most notably in the new structure, the Senior Programme Officer post will be abolished and the functions of this post will be integrated into other posts in the field and in The Hague. Consequently, Ms. Kristin Kalla will be departing the TFV by the end of 2015. These changes have been made possible because of her commitment to investing in building the capacity of the programme staff in The Hague and field offices over the years.
I would like to acknowledge Ms. Kalla’s leadership over the past eight years, during which she has been hugely instrumental in the development of the TFV, inspiring programme staff and our implementing partners to translate legal theory into programme practice and operations. A summary of her accomplishments has been highlighted in the Executive Foreword and we look forward to honouring her contributions at the upcoming ASP meeting in The Hague.
I would also like to express gratitude for the support provided by the TFV Board of Directors, Secretariat staff, and colleagues from the International Criminal Court (ICC), especially the Registry staff who helps to support the TFV’s administration and operations. And finally, none of this work would be possible without support from the donors whose contributions ensure that the victims under the jurisdiction of the ICC are recognized and supported by the Rome Statute System.
We hope that you will read the report with much appreciation and please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information. The report is currently available in English and the French version will be forthcoming.
Pieter W.I. de Baan
On July 21-22 2015, the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the ICC convened in an extraordinary meeting in The Hague to review and discuss progress made in the development of a draft implementation plan for reparations, in the case against Mr Thomas Lubanga, to the benefit of former child soldiers in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Acknowledging the preliminary results of the TFV Secretariat’s consultations with local communities and potentially eligible victims, as well as of an international expert meeting, the TFV Board endorsed the approach undertaken and reiterated the strong interest that it has in ensuring that the draft reparations implementation plan is responsive to the rights and expectations of eligible victims of Mr Lubanga’s crimes - and as such, provides a solid foundation for collective reparations awards to be a meaningful redress of the harm that victims have suffered.
In December 2014, the ICC’s Appeals Chamber confirmed Mr Lubanga’s conviction and sentencing for the crimes of conscription and use of child soldiers under the age of 15, in eastern DRC during 2002-2003. In March, the Appeals Chamber issued a judgement and amended order for reparations against Mr Lubanga, which included the instruction to the TFV to submit a draft implementation plan for reparations to eligible direct and indirect victims by September 2015.
This is the first time that the TFV has been tasked by the ICC to develop a reparations plan, triggering its unprecedented mandate enshrined in the Rome Statute to implement reparations to victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
The TFV is taking up this challenging and unprecedented task in close cooperation with the ICC Registry, most notably its sections for victims participation and reparations (VPRS) and for public information (PIDS). From May through to the end of June, the TFV conducted consecutive field missions to the Ituri district in eastern DRC to engage with local communities and to have meetings with groups of potentially eligible victims, both male and female. During the same period, the VPRS conducted a preliminary victim mapping exercise.
A multi-disciplinary expert consultation meeting on reparations was held in Belfast at the Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute (26-29 May) and convened over 25 practitioners and experts from a variety of backgrounds and geographies, as well as selected staff from the TFV Secretariat and ICC Registry and representatives of the legal counsel for victims in the Lubanga case. The expert meeting considered, amongst others, methods for victim identification for the purpose of collective reparations, applicable standards of proof and causality, as well as methods to assess harm for the purpose of collective reparations.
Recognising the great progress made and challenges overcome since March, the Board also took note of various steps, both from a legal and practical perpsective, that need to be taken before finalising the draft implementation plan. The Board reiterated the significance of preparing the plan in such a manner as to also guide the procedures and content of plans in future reparations cases, while reflecting sufficiently the special character of the case at hand.
Noting the report of the Court’s Office of the Internal Auditor (OIA) on the TFV’s internal control framework of the assistance mandate programmes, the Board was heartened by its overall audit opinion that “the TFV has managed well its assistance programs in successfully reaching victims and the affected communities in norther Uganda and DRC through assistance programs” and that, while areas of improvement can be identified, it is “worth noting that the TFV has made some significant achievements since its inception in 2008.” The OIA and TFV intend to make available a redacted version of the audit report to the States Parties in the Fall of 2015.
At this meeting the TFV Board was not able, as intended, to deliberate and decide on the functioning and desired structure of the TFV Secretariat, since the delivery of the draft ReVision report came too late to be considered. The TFV Board and the Registrar did agree to develop soonest a written arrangement to clarify the administrative relationship between the Registry and the TFV, including the scope of administrative delegation of authority to the TFV Secretariat.
Recalling the need to strengthen the TFV’s ability to complement payments for reparations in current and future cases before the ICC, as well as the need to sustain and expand the TFV’s activities under its assistance mandate, the TFV Board expresses its appreciation to its donors for the significant voluntary contributions and donations they have made to the TFV. The Board is calling upon all interested States and private donors to assist in further growing the financial capacity of the TFV to assist victims of the most serious crimes to overcome the harm they have suffered and rebuild their lives.
July 2, 2015, Lira, northern Uganda - Since 2008 the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) has been delivering assistance and rehabilitation to victims under the assistance mandate across 18 districts in Northern Uganda, providing services to victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes through a network of local and international non-governmental organizations. The assistance mandate of the TFV is distinct from reparations before the International Criminal Court or the payment of compensation to victims. The TFV assistance programme provides a broad range of medical and psychological rehabilitation services for injured and traumatized victims.
The Trust Fund launched its new projects with the Ministry of Health, local government officials at all levels across the districts of northern Uganda, civil society colleagues, local leaders, women grassroots organizations, and donors who were all invited to celebrate this occasion.
Read further here.
The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is diversifying its revenue base, with particular attention to attracting the support of private institutional donors. This will be supported by a Fundraising & Visibility Officer, which is a newly created position at the TFV Secretariat in The Hague.
The TFV depends on voluntary contributions and donations to finance its activities in support of victims of crimes under the Rome Statute.
We are looking for a dynamic and resourceful fundraiser, having a strong affinity with the TFV’s strategy and mandates in relation to reparative justice to victims, as well as with transitional justice and humanitarian aid in general.
Further information about the position, its requirements and the recruitment procedure can be found here.
Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims
12th Annual Meeting
17, 18 and 19 March 2015
List of Decisions (DRAFT for Board approval)
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.