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.
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.