The Board of Directors and Secretariat of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) are saddened to learn about the passing away of former Board member President Arthur Robinson. Former President Robinson of Trinidad and Tobago is widely acknowledged to have played a crucial role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). President Robinson’s commitment to the innovative reparative justice dimension of the Rome Statute found expression in his membership of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, during 2006-2009, representing the group of Latin American and Caribbean States Parties.
The Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) convened for its 11th Annual Meeting in The Hague from 18 to 20 March 2014. In this meeting, the Board reviewed the draft TFV Strategic Plan (2014-2017), prepared by the TFV Secretariat, and approved it with some modifications. The Board also approved the TFV’s programme obligations for the next year and decided to increase the Trust Fund’s reparations reserve with an amount of € 1 million to € 3.6 million, out of a total of € 8.4 million available cash resources.
The Trust Fund for Victims’ draft Strategic Plan addresses programme and business strategies, including communication and fundraising, for the next four years. The Plan draws on the TFV’s operational experience of the past six years, as well as on the recommendations from an external programme evaluation in 2013, the development of a comprehensive risk management framework and the results of an online survey. Prior to final adoption by the Board, the draft TFV Strategic Plan is being shared with States Parties and civil society for observations.
The Board noted with satisfaction the findings and recommendations of the first external evaluation of the programmes of the TFV, which was carried out by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) throughout 2013. The evaluation noted that the TFV has managed a successful translation of theory into practice, with over 110,000 persons in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) benefiting from assistance services. The evaluators observed the benefits of adopting a holistic approach to addressing harm by integrating services available under the TFV assistance mandate and ensuring that the specific circumstances of victims, their families and their communities were addressed. The Board welcomed the recommendations of the external evaluation having been addressed in the TFV draft Strategic Plan for 2014-2017.
The Board noted with appreciation a substantial increase of voluntary contributions by States Parties, reaching an unprecedented level of almost € 4.5 million in 2013 and looking to continue to be strong in 2014. The Board confirmed their intent to further broaden and strengthen the TFV’s support base amongst States Parties and to support engagement with private institutional donors.
During the session on the TFV programmes, the Board approved the project extensions in DRC and northern Uganda with a total value of € 1.9 million and decided to maintain the resources reserved for Central African Republic (€ 610,000). The Board furthermore endorsed the plan to expand the TFV’s activities to other ICC situation countries. Assessment missions to Kenya and Cote d‘Ivoire are foreseen in 2014-2015, with the exact time schedule yet to be determined.
To support the TFV’s strategic ambitions and operational capacity, including in regard of future invitations to implement Court-ordered reparations awards, the Board recognised the need to strengthen the TFV Secretariat in the areas of systems development, programme management, communication and fundraising.
The TFV Board of Directors highly valued the messages of appreciation and support in the official addresses of the President of the Assembly of States Parties, the Court’s President, Prosecutor and Registrar and of civil society organisations, which can be retrieved through the links below.
The Registrar’s active participation, in an advisory capacity, in key sessions of the meeting underscored the shared belief that both the TFV and the ICC stand to benefit from a constructive and open collaborative partnership.
March 28, 2014, The Hague - In March 2014, Ms. Kalla received the 2014 UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Alumni Hall of Fame Award. The University of California, Los Angeles established this award in 2002 to honor alumni with outstanding career accomplishments in the field of public health, as well as those who have volunteered time and talent in their communities in support of public health activities. Inductees exemplify the Fielding School's commitment to teaching, research and service.
Commitment to community and human rights were highlighted in the achievements of the 2014 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, all of whom exemplify the UCLA’s commitment to teaching, research and service.
States Parties have come out in strong support of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) during their 12th Assembly, held from 20 to 28 November in The Hague. The TFV received pledges for voluntary contributions, including multi-annual funding, in regard of both the TFV's assistance and reparations mandates with a total value of over 6.5 million euros. During the Assembly's plenary sessions, participants expressed their appreciation of the Fund’s achievements in addressing the harm suffered by victims of international crimes, as well as their support to the further development of the TFV as the Rome Statute's agency to achieve reparative justice for victims.
Sweden announced a three year agreement with the TFV of in total SKr 36 million (ca. 4.2 million euros), which is the largest single contribution received by the TFV so far. The Netherlands are providing 1 million euros, again doubling their previous year's contribution. Germany announced the highest single contribution to date, 900,000 euros, to be earmarked for the TFV's reparations reserve, which is meant to complement eventual Court-ordered awards to victims. The United Kingdom announced a second contribution in 2013 of £300,000, bringing their support this year to £800,000 and their total contributions to the TFV to £1.8 million.
The following States confirmed (further) contributions to the TFV: Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Republic of Korea and Spain.
During the plenary debate on victims on 22 November 2013, Chair of the TFV Board Motoo Noguchi highlighted the TFV’s accumulation of experience over the past five years: “We are in the process of establishing workable, effective and efficient mechanisms to address the harm suffered by victims.” He stressed the need to further develop the TFV‘s outreach and communications capacity, in order to strengthen the Fund’s participatory approach to engage with victims and affected communities.
Excerpts of statements made by States and civil society organizations, reflecting their political and moral support to the TFV’s reparative justice mandates, follow below.
Sweden: “Victims’ rights are an essential element in the Rome Statute. Expectations for rehabilitation and reparations to victims will grow by the number of cases before the Court. Therefore the resources of the Trust Fund for Victims must be increased. I am pleased to announce a new substantial Swedish contribution to the Fund for three years (2013-2015) on a total amount of 36 million SEK or approximately 4 million EUR.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans of The Netherlands: "We have a duty as human beings to all victims of international crimes. That's why today I want to say that The Netherlands will support the Trust Fund for Victims with a contribution of 1 million euros." He further stressed that, next to the prosecution of perpetrators by the ICC, it is important to take care of the victims and, wherever possible, to restore their dignity.
Germany: “The Trust Fund for Victims plays a crucial role in fulfilling the promise of the Rome Statute to give a voice also to the victims. With the Court’s first sentence in the Lubanga case, the Trust Fund’s further mandate - reparations for victims - has also been activated. In recognition of the Trust Fund’s noteworthy achievements, Germany will be making this year a donation of € 900,000 to the Trust Fund for Victims – earmarked for reparations to the victims in the cases before the ICC.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that the United Kingdom is contributing another £300,000 to the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) this year. This brings the total of UK contributions to the TFV since 2011 to £1.8 million. According to Foreign Secretary Hague, "This will enable the Fund to help survivors of some of the worst atrocities of the past two decades to rebuild their lives and their communities. Recipients of the Fund include survivors of acts of sexual violence committed in conflict. I am determined that the international community does more to hold the perpetrators of these crimes to account. But we must also all do more to help the survivors of these abhorrent crimes. I have already called for more support, including to the Trust Fund, from some of the world’s leading economies at the G8 meeting in April. I will repeat this call at the international summit on sexual violence in conflict that I will host in London next year.”
“Italy wishes to emphasize the central role played by the “Trust Fund for Victims” established by the Statute and to which Italy has contributed 40.000 Euros in 2013. Together with the judicial proceedings of the Court, the ICC’s Trust Fund provides a concrete response to the needs of numerous victims and their families.”
Japan stated that it “[a]ttaches importance to assistance to victims and their families. Japan makes steady efforts for the prosecution of perpetrators and victims protection. This perspectives was echoed in “Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict” endorsed by the G8 and the larger group, through the enhancement of close cooperation with the ICC, on which Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered an address at the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly of the UN this year. In particular, the establishment of the Trust Fund for Victims is the most innovative and ambitious endeavor for the first time in the history of international criminal justice. Japan commends the TFV’s continuous efforts in tandem with victims and their communities, currently under the leadership of Mr. Motoo Noguchi, the Chair of the Board of Directors.“
Lithuania on behalf of the European Union: “The EU and its Member States will continue to support the ICC and to emphasise the importance of its role when national courts are unwilling or unable to deliver justice. We will also continue to support the efforts of the Trust Fund for Victims of the ICC in bringing justice to victims and affected communities. To this end we encourage all States to contribute to the Trust Fund. ”
Botswana: “We are delighted to note that, in spite of the serious budgetary constraints it faces, the Court continues to do very commendable work in supporting more than 110 thousand victims and their families through the Trust Fund for Victims.”
The Gambia: “The work of the ICC extends beyond bringing the perpetrators to justice and equally important is the assistance it renders to the victims through various projects initiated by the Trust Fund of Victims to enable them to reintegrate into society.”
Nigeria: “Nigeria believes that the rehabilitation and compensation of victims of heinous crimes are a matter of the most serious concern. [...] Nigeria is therefore supportive of the Trust Fund for Victims of International Crimes of the ICC and therefore calls upon State Parties to contribute generously to the Fund.”
Trinidad and Tobago: “We advance that in order for the participation of victims to be meaningful, appropriate protective measures, security arrangements; counselling and financial assistance should be provided as required. In this regard, as a state Party which has made contributions in the past, we request that States Parties and others that are in a position to do so make voluntary contributions to the Victims Trust fund. ”
The United States, a non-State Party, stated that “[s]urvivors of sexual violence, and in particular child victims, must have access to health, psychosocial, legal and economic support. Among other things, signatories of the G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence committed to work to provide adequate services to victims, including through programs such as the Trust Fund for Victims and its implementing partners.”
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC): “Helping to restore dignity to victims is central to the Rome Statute. (..) States attending this Assembly should recommit to ensuring that the Rome Statute system- including the Trust fund for Victims- has the political – and financial- backing to truly deliver meaningful justice to victims of atrocities that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.”
French Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CFCPI): “We invite States Parties to contribute to the Trust Fund for Victims, to ensure the sustainability of its restorative impact for the victims of the gravest crimes.”
The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) and the Swedish international development agency (Sida) have signed a three-year agreement with a total value of 36 million Swedish kronor (ca. €4.2 million) of unrestricted funding to the TFV. The agreement, resulting from intensive consultations between Sida and the TFV Secretariat, constitutes the single largest contribution of a State Party to the Trust Fund for Victims to date.
Sweden and Finland co-hosted a reception for the TFV on Friday 22 November. At the reception Ambassador Håkan Emsgård reiterated Sweden’s support to the valuable activities of the TFV, as a key institution of the Rome Statute, in support of victims of international crimes. He stated that Sweden’s decision to significantly increase its contribution to the TFV conveyed an appreciation of the results achieved by the TFV so far, as well as Sweden’s commitment to provide a solid and long-term basis to continue and expand the work of TFV.
Mr Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the TFV Board of Directors, stated that "we are greatly honoured by the renewed engagement by Sweden, which not only provides the TFV with an extremely encouraging boost to the development of our resources, but also indicates trust and confidence in the Trust Fund’s mandates to provide reparative justice to victims." Mr Noguchi further expressed hope that other States Parties will find inspiration to engage with TFV to best of their ability.
Finland, which also has been a long-standing and consistent supporter of the Trust Fund for Victims, is currently committed to a multi-annual funding (2012 – 2015) to the TFV amounting to a total of 800.000 euros. The funding is directed to Trust Fund’s programme Addressing Sexual & Other Forms of Gender-Based Violence - Rehabilitating and Supporting Victim Survivors in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. In addition to this Finland has supported financially the reparations mandate of the Trust Fund.
At the reception on Friday 22 November, Finland´s Ambassador Liisa Talonpoika stated that Finland highly values the engagement and efforts of the TFV in the fight against impunity in particular by addressing the needs of the victims of the crimes under the Rome Statue and reiterated Finland's continuing support to the Trust Fund.
On Friday 22 November, at the meeting of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) presented Towards a Perspective of Upcoming Interventions, which reports on the findings and recommendations of the first external evaluation of the TFV’s programmes in northern Uganda and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The ICRW was engaged by the TFV to carry out the independent evaluation, which involved a thorough field based assessment as well as interviews with key stakeholders in The Hague.
The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the impact and establish the significance of the TFV programmes under its assistance mandate, to identify areas that needed strengthening and improvements and to provide recommendations designed to inform the TFV’s institutional strategy as well its country programme strategies.
ICRW stated in the report ‘This evaluation report provides evidence of the great strides made by the TFV supported projects in the name of assistance to victims under the jurisdiction of the ICC. This report also provides concrete recommendations for enhancing and strengthening the programming and coordination that bring TFV funds to the community level, including the achievement areas noted here. As the TFV moves toward putting its new strategic plan into action, it will be important to prioritize the documentation of the impact of these projects, assessing and replicating effective models, and scaling up to reach even more of the many thousands of victims who are still in need of assistance.’
TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan welcomed the findings of the evaluation, saying that "the report confirms that the Trust Fund is making the right choices when pioneering its unprecedented mandate to assist victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC. We aim to be a learning organisation and the report’s recommendations will certainly be very helpful for the development of the Trust Fund’s upcoming Strategic Plan."
According to the report, key elements of TFV success include the scale of outreach to over 110,000 beneficiaries and the TFV’s ability to translate theory into a relevant practice by way of an integrated approach of providing services in response to the harm suffered by victims. The TFV is also deemed to be successful in working with community resources and in promoting local ownership of programmes and their achievements, as well as in efforts to build the capacity of locally based implementing partners.
In regard of three major support areas of the TFV’s assistance mandate - physical and psychological rehabilitation, and material support - the evaluation report concludes that the TFV’s interventions contribute to the reduction of social exclusion and shame, demonstrate sensitivity to local social traditions and contribute to self-sufficiency and skills development of victims. The report highlights as risks the high cost and expertise requirements related to the provision of physical rehabilitation, the risk of on-going traumatisation related to psychological rehabilitation and the scope and sustainability of material support initiatives.
The evaluators find that the TFV has successfully promoted peaceful cohabitation, strengthened the institutional capacity of partners for gender mainstreaming and contributed to the lifting of "shame and blame" of victims of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
The ICRW report’s recommendations include a call to prioritise a participatory approach, involving beneficiaries and communities more closely in the design and implementation of interventions, and to better link the monitoring of project outcomes to the TFV’s global programme management performance framework. The evaluators furthermore advise the TFV to explore the possibility of adopting a multi-annual programme funding approach and to intensify efforts, in consultation with the Court, towards effective outreach to local communities.
The report is available on the TFV website.
The Trust Fund for Victims is saddened to learn about the passing away of Mr Tadeusz Mazowiecki, earlier this week. Mr Mazowiecki was amongst the first elected members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, serving from 2003 to 2009.
As a former prime minister of Poland (1989-1991) and a former UN envoy to Bosnia and Hercegovina (1992-1995), Mr Mazowiecki brought to the TFV Board a wealth of experience and a strong dedication to the causes of international human rights and the victims suffering from the most serious international crimes.
A first generation member of the TFV Board of Directors, Mr Mazowiecki contributed greatly to the emergence and institutional development of the Trust Fund as an unprecedented body mandated to act in response to the harm suffered by victims resulting from crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
The current TFV Board of Directors has offered its condolences to the Government of Poland and to the family and loved ones of Mr Mazowiecki.
On 26 September 2013, the five members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) have sent personal letters to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of States Parties, drawing their attention to the urgent need to achieve the broadest possible support to the TFV. The TFV Board asserts that “voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for Victims are of essential importance to fuel the Rome Statute’s endeavour of reparative justice to victims and may well be considered the lifeline for victims to directly experience justice.” No less important is the symbolic value of broad States Parties support leading to a truly comprehensive engagement with the TFV.
The five personal letters by the TFV Board members contain a region-specific call for support, addressed to the States Parties that supported their candidacy in their election to the Board during the Assembly of States Parties in November 2012.
The TFV Board of Directors strongly believes that the upcoming Assembly of States Parties, to be held in November 2013 in The Hague, “represents an excellent opportunity for States Parties to reconfirm, or announce for the first time, their engagement with the Trust Fund for Victims, sending a loud and clear message to victims and their communities that the Rome Statute will indeed be able to deliver on its promise of reparative justice.”
The TFV Board letters can be retrieved here:
On 27 September 2013 in Tokyo Japan, Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, had a meeting with Ugandan Minister of Health, Minister of State with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Ambassador of Uganda to Japan.
Chair Noguchi briefed the Ministers on his recent field visit to northern Uganda and the latest development of the TFV projects there, in particular its shifting focus on physical and psychological rehabilitation, and expressed gratitude to the Ministers for continuous support from the Government of the Republic of Uganda.
H.E. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Minister of Health of the Republic of Uganda, thanked the TFV for the provision of assistance for victims of the most serious crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC in Uganda. Being a medical doctor himself, the Minister explained that there were many more victims who were in urgent and dire needs of physical and psychological treatments and agreed with Noguchi that the Ugandan Government and the TFV should deepen discussions to seek ways to strengthen local capacity in the provision of technical expertise.
H. E. Ambassador James Baba, Minister of State with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, emphasized that domestic efforts to promote national reconciliation are being made but they would be broadly accepted only if they take victims into consideration. With the appreciation of the TFV’s assistance projects in northern Uganda, the Minister also agreed to enhance dialogue between his office and the TFV with a view to increasing the projects’ positive effects on future generations.
H.E. Ambassador Betty Grace Akech Okullo, Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to Japan who is herself from the suffered region in northern Uganda, explained the magnitude of sufferings amongst the population and emphasized the significance of peace education for children to remove hostilities among them. Noguchi explained about the TFV’s peace education program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or “A le ‘ecole de la paix” which he had observed on site in his recent field visit to the DRC.
The Ministers reiterated full support for the TFV and its activities and suggested that their office would closely coordinate with the TFV’s staff based in Kampala to discuss concrete ways to supplement each other’s initiatives at the maximum level and enable sustainable assistance to those most vulnerable including women and children.
Press Release: 11 September 2013
The Hague - The services provided by the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) and its partners to over 110,000 victims, their families and their communities already greatly contribute to the Rome Statute’s endeavour to ensure justice for victims. This conclusion was reached by a high-level delegation visiting the TFV programmes in northern Uganda and in the Ituri District in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Caption: “Delegation’s visit to TFV funded orthopaedic workshop in Gulu Hospital, northern Uganda”
From 1 to 11 September 2013, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), and Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court, travelled to Uganda and DRC. They were accompanied by TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan and field staff. The delegation visited TFV projects in Gulu and Oyam districts and surroundings in northern Uganda. From there on, the visitors travelled to Mahagi, Ame and Bunia in the Ituri District in eastern DRC.
Throughout the mission, the delegation engaged with beneficiaries of the TFV programmes, with locally based implementing partners and representatives of national and local authorities. In Kampala, there were meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice and high-level officials from the Ministry of Health. The delegation engaged with the press in Kampala, Gulu and Bunia. In Gulu, the mission members participated in a radio call-in show.
”It was inspiring to be able to witness how voluntary contributions by States Parties to the Trust Fund are translated into assistance services that deliver real benefit to victims,” said President Intelmann. “I was personally moved by the courage and confidence of victims sharing their story about how their lives have been transformed as a result of the medical, psychological and material support they received through the Trust Fund’s programmes.”
According to TFV Chair Motoo Noguchi, “This mission confirms to me that we are making the right choices in addressing the harm suffered by victims, which is otherwise very difficult to assess from afar. I have been encouraged by the reparative value of the Trust Fund’s programmes and by its tangible impact on the lives of victims and their communities. This could not be possible without the efforts of our programme staff and our local implementing partners working in challenging circumstances. I will share my experience with the other members of the TFV Board and it should be very useful in informing our future decision-making.”
Meetings with beneficiaries in northern Uganda confirmed to the delegation the added value of the TFV interventions in addressing the longer-term physical and psychological harm suffered by victims, taking into consideration their often precarious social and economic position in society. In Mahagi (DRC), the delegation was impressed by a visit to the Peace Education programme, “A l’école de la Paix”. Involving over 20,000 children in primary and secondary schools, who themselves have often been directly exposed to violence, this TFV programme seeks to instill a culture of finding non-violent solutions to conflict, which is already radiating to their families and communities. The delegation also visited a vocational training centre in Ame aiming to facilitate the social and economic reintegration of former child soldiers into their communities. The delegation was briefed about the Peace Caravan, which provides community-based support on non-violent conflict resolutioninvolving over 25,000 beneficiaries. The Peace Caravan also assists communities in identifying individual victims who are most in need of specialised medical treatment or trauma-based counseling.
Of particular note was a visit to a project near Bunia addressing the harm suffered by victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Over 300 SGBV victims receive counseling and vocational training allowing them to regain their dignity and their place in the community. The small-scale savings and loan schemes and technical training also reach thousands of other members of the community. The delegation came away convinced that the rehabilitation of victims can only be successful if accepted and supported by their families and communities and with the additional of livelihood support.
The delegation notes that the TFV should further intensify its engagement with domestic initiatives in order to ensure the sustainability of its programmes.