TFV Board: Closure for victims is the true measure of international justice
Press Release, The Hague, 29 November 2016
The Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) calls upon States, the ICC, civil society, and all the world’s citizens to find the will power and resources to ensure that international justice is delivered to victims: not only in the court room, but also in their homes, and in their communities.
The Rome Statute’s purpose is to close the impunity gap for the most serious international crimes. While closing the impunity gap is truly an ambition of universal value, on its own it is insufficient. The Rome Statute system must equally strive to close the “victims gap”. International crimes have a profound impact, including massive and debilitating suffering of individuals, families and entire societies. This harm must be met with a reparative response that is respectful of the fragility, the dignity and the resilience of victims, enabling them to overcome the harm that they have suffered and to rebuild their lives.
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Press Release, The Hague, 28 October 2016
The five members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the ICC express their grave concern about the recently announced withdrawals from the Rome Statute.
“Withdrawals are a deplorable setback for victims of the most heinous crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity affecting the most vulnerable, such as children and women.
“Not only a setback for those victims who happen to be in ICC situation countries, but for all victims around the world, for whom the Rome Statute’s universal promise of reparative justice risks becoming a more distant prospect.
“Withdrawals weaken the fight against impunity, invariably at the expense of the rights and well-being of victims of international crimes.”
“The protection and dignity of human lives depend on the rule of law, and in particular the Rome Statute’s determination to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of crimes of the most serious concern to the international community.”
The Board recalls the inspiring moral leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was elected to the first, pioneering Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, representing the African States group in his personal capacity.
In his own words: “We want to recognize those who over the several years have been the faceless ones, the ones who have been side-passed, and so in that process, help to heal trauma, help to heal wounded communities, help to make whole what was broken.”
The current Board views ICC withdrawals as creating the risk of a hazardous relapse, sidelining victims and their communities.
The TFV Board of Directors respectfully submits that being an ICC State Party does not only mean being a part of global efforts to prevent and punish international crimes, but also being an advocate for the Rome Statute’s unprecedented mechanisms of reparative justice to provide meaningful redress to victims. The Board urges all States Parties to remain an active and integral partner in the fight against impunity and in the delivery of reparative justice. ***
Under its assistance mandate, the TFV has reached over 300,000 victims, with modest means originating from voluntary contributions and donations. The TFV has worked with over 30 locally based partners employing hundreds of African professionals, including physicians, psychologists, educational specialists, agronomists, micro-credit specialists, and more. Community leaders and local government agencies play a crucial role in ensuring and boosting lasting results of the TFV’s assistance programmes. The TFV is currently embarking on its mandate to implement Court-ordered reparations in a growing number of ICC cases, thus providing further tangible meaning to victims of the notion of reparative justice.
The activities and programmes of the TFV are designed to be victim-owned, trauma-sensitive, gender-sensitive as well as mindful of the complex conflict and post-conflict situations in which victims and their communities are overcoming the harm they suffered.
Trust Fund for Victims, Board of Directors
Motoo Noguchi (Japan), Chair
Mama Koité Doumbia (Mali)
Baroness Arminka Helić (United Kingdom)
Felipe Michelini (Uruguay)
Alma Taso Deljković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Executive Director - Pieter de Baan
Dr. Denis Mukwege at the Trust Fund for Victims: The rehabilitation and de-stigmatisation of victim survivors of sexual violence – a soap story
The Hague, 26 September 2016
In a meeting with staff and management of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) in The Hague, Dr Denis Mukwege praised the impressive results achieved by the TFV and its implementing partner BEATIL-ALT in support of victims of sexual violence, through association with the Panzi hospital in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Following surgery and other medical treatment at Panzi hospital, victim survivors of gender based and sexual violence (SGBV) receive much needed psychological care and socio-economic support. According to Dr Mukwege, “these are the three main pillars of support for victim survivors to achieve the transformation from being a victim, towards becoming well-regarded members of their families and communities again.”
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Dear Friends of the Trust Fund for Victims,
I am proud to present the Trust Fund for Victims’ second newsletter, which provides programme highlights from our assistance mandate, and progress activities related to reparations orders. The newsletter also lists total contributions received this year, recent events and details of Board of Directors annual meeting.
We are immensely grateful for your contributions and continued support to the Trust Fund for Victims which allow us to provide rehabilitations to victim survivors, their families, and affected communities in situation countries under the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Pieter W.I. de Baan
Executive Director / Directeur exécutif
New TFV Board of Directors: Prioritizing Victim Survivors in International Justice
Press Release, 26 April 2016
The 14th Annual TFV Board of Directors Meeting took place in The Hague from 18 – 21 April 2016. They reaffirmed the TFV’s mission to respond to harm, support victims in regaining dignity, hope and leading their lives to the full again, making justice a reality for victim survivors.
The Board re-elected Motoo Noguchi as Chair for the next three years. Mr. Noguchi noted, "The new Board discussed vigorously how the TFV can continue to achieve tangible results despite the constraint of resources and other challenges. We are aware of the very long waiting time for victims in needs and will do our best on our part to start reparations programs without further delay, while strengthening programs under the assistance mandate. We think we must take action and make a difference." The Board members underlined that behind the headlines of the Court’s decisions and judgments, there are real people who have been harmed by the most heinous crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Trust Fund for Victims makes a real difference on the ground in the lives of people and deserves full support so it can expand its work.
Following engagements with various parties including H.E. Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), ICC Principals, Committee Budget and Finance (CBF), and civil society colleagues, the Board underlined the need for collaborative partnership between the TFV and the ICC to ensure that victims have access to legally sound and operationally viable reparations. The visit of Ms. Angelina Jolie Pitt with the TFV Board and Secretariat as well as with the Court’s Principals on 20 April highlighted the importance of putting victim survivors at the centre of international justice.
The Board committed to strengthening the global public awareness of the TFV, expressing a strong need to make the Trust Fund’s values and achievements known to both public and private donors. Furthermore, the Board’s noted the unique footprint of the TFV’s assistance mandate in ICC situations, going beyond the scope of judicial proceedings and reaching over 180,000 direct and indirect victims in northern Uganda and DRC. Considering the responsibility of States to care for victimized populations, the Board will vigorously explore expanding assistance mandate activities in other ICC situation countries. This was discussed in meetings with civil society organizations including the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), Parliamentarians for Global Action, and Human Rights Watch.
The current structure of the TFV provides a minimum capability to provide assistance and reparations. The Board considers 2016 to be transition year of rebuilding and fulfilling ambitions for further development that requires support from States Parties.
The Board members were invited to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the ICC premises as well as in an expert seminar on the ICC held at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the seminar, both Motoo Noguchi (Chair) and Elisabeth Rehn (former Chair) advocated that it is time for victim survivors concerns to move from the fringe to the center stage in the Rome Statute system.
The list of decisions of the Board meeting will be published soon on the TFV website. Please click here to read more of the press release.
TFV Board of Directors
Mr. Motoo Noguchi (Chair) (Japan, representing the Asian States),
Baroness Arminka Helić (UK, representing Western European and Other States),
Mr. Felipe Michelini (Uruguay, representing the Americas and Caribbean State),
Ms. Alma Taso-Deljkovic (Bosnia Herzegovina, representing Eastern European States),
Ms. Mama Koité Doumbia (Mali, representing African States)
Mr. Pieter de Baan, TFV Executive Director
For more information contact: Moureen Lamonge at +31 70 515 8013 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit www.trustfundforvictims.org
TFV BY NUMBERS
direct beneficiaries from DRC & Uganda projects, Oct 2014–June 2015
DRC & Uganda projects,
Oct 2014–June 2015
31 total implementing partners in DRC and Uganda 2008-2015
34 donor countries to date
A total contribution of €2.9 million received in 2015 from states parties
€8,000 received in 2015 from individual contributions
€4.8 million reserved for reparations
€1 million reserved for Lubanga reparations order
€5.5 million earmarked to SGBV projects since 2008
€12,7 million available resources as of March 2016, and €700,000 unobligated for programmes
Background: Trust Fund for Victims (TFV)
In 2002, the Rome Statute came into effect and the Assembly of States Parties established the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) to benefit victims of crimes and their families within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). These crimes are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes – and in the future, crimes of aggression.
With the unique roles of implementing both Court-ordered and general assistance to victims of crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction, TFV offers key advantages for promoting lasting peace, reconciliation, and wellbeing in war-torn societies. The TFV fulfils two mandates:
1. Reparations: implementing Court-ordered reparations awards against a convicted person when directed by the Court to do so.
2. General Assistance: using voluntary contributions from donors to provide victims survivors and their families in situations where the Court is active with physical rehabilitation, material support, and/or psychological rehabilitation.
The assistance mandate of the TFV is distinct from reparations before the ICC 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.
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, and 3 provinces in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, by providing the physical, psychological, or material needs of the the often forgotten survivors. The TFV works closely with NGOs, community groups, women’s grassroots organizations, governments, and UN agencies at local, national, and international levels.
Under the assistance mandate, the TFV may provide three forms of support:
Physical rehabilitation: include reconstructive and general surgery, bullet and bomb fragment removal, prosthetic and orthopedic devices, and referrals to medical services for victims of sexual violence.
Psychological rehabilitation: addresses the individual psychological consequences and trauma arising from war, conflict, sexual violence, and other crimes. TFV is also promoting healing at affected communities to reduce stigmatization of victim survivors and promote a greater sense of trust, shared responsibility, and peaceful coexistence among community members.
Material support is provided to improve the economic status of victim survivors through education, economic development, rebuilding of community infrastructure, support for village savings and loans, and creation of employment opportunities.
There are currently 10 situations before the ICC, in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Darfur (Sudan), Central African Republic (CAR) I and II, Kenya, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Georgia, which means that, with your help, the TFV can assist thousands of victims who come under the jurisdiction of the Court.
A short video on the activities of the Trust Fund for Victims can be viewed at:
Press Release, 21 April 2016
Angelina Jolie Pitt returned to the International Criminal Court yesterday to visit the Trust Fund for Victims, which helps victim survivors of international war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The meeting, Ms. Jolie Pitt’s fifth to the International Criminal Court, took place at the newly inaugurated ICC building in The Hague, which was officially opened by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands on 19 April 2016.
During her visit, Ms. Jolie Pitt talked with the Trust Fund staff about the difficulties faced by survivors. Ms. Jolie Pitt also discussed the impact that the Trust Fund’s assistance makes in allowing survivors to regain their dignity and rebuild their lives within their communities. Following her meeting with the Trust Fund Ms. Jolie Pitt said, “There can be no complete justice without consideration for the victims of the war crimes themselves, and the practical assistance they need to move on with their lives and overcome the harm they have suffered. That is why the work of the Trust Fund is important and must be supported and strengthened over time.”
Currently, over 180,000 victim survivors have benefited from the Trust Fund’s assistance mandate – including access to reproductive health services, vocational training, trauma-based counseling, reconciliation workshops, reconstructive surgery and more.
The Trust Fund for Victim is at the forefront of the global movement to end impunity for sexual violence and gender-based crimes by addressing the needs of those who have suffered and survived these crimes. Ms. Jolie Pitt discussed with the Board the importance of practical assistance to victim survivors of SGBV, and the special vulnerability of girls and women as key steps toward ending impunity for perpetrators and establishing durable peace and reconciliation in conflict settings.
Mr. Motoo Noguchi, previous international judge of the Supreme Court Chamber at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC, 2006-2012) and the current Chair of the TFV Board, said, “The TFV works to ensure that victims survivors and the affected communities within the jurisdiction of the Court are recognized and will be supported in their efforts to overcome their harm and regain their full and dignified lives. On behalf of the Trust Fund Board of Directors, I greatly appreciate the interest and support of Ms. Jolie Pitt to highlight the importance of justice to be meaningful for victim survivors.”
Please read more here
For more information contact: Moureen Lamonge at +31 70 515 8013 or email@example.com
Subject: “Victim assistance in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)”.
Date of this EOI: 24 February 2016
Closing date of this EOI: 14 March 2016
Numero Reference Number: 120431
Address EOI for the attention of: Ms. Laurence Dekkers / Mr. Kent Foster
Fax no.: +31 (0) 70 515 8336
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
It is anticipated that the International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, The Netherlands, will shortly be issuing a solicitation for the provision of “Victim assistance in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)”. In this connection, the ICC is requesting expressions of interest from qualified companies.
Please see the attachment here
Dear friends of the TFV,
The Trust Fund for Victims is pleased to present its first newsletter this year, which provides donor highlights on the voluntary contributions received in 2015.
The Trust Fund wishes to express its gratitude for the contributions received last year from the States Parties and private donors that supported the programmes in the DRC and Uganda, including the reserve for reparations.
Pieter W.I. de Baan
Executive Director / Directeur exécutif
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