United Kingdom donates a second £500,000 to ICC Trust Fund for Victims
The Hague - In a major speech marking the 10th Anniversary of the International Criminal Court, delivered in The Hague on 9 July, Foreign Secretary William Hague of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland announced a donation of half a million British Pounds to the ICC Trust Fund for Victims. It is the second year in a row that the UK is making such a significant donation.
“We will be a robust supporter of the International Criminal Court in its investigations. We will encourage States Parties to provide the necessary political, strategic, practical and financial support the Court needs. This includes urging voluntary contributions to the ICC’s groundbreaking mechanism to help victims rebuild their lives, the Trust Fund for Victims. We donated £500,000 to the Trust Fund for Victims last year and I am pleased to announce that we will match that donation this year. We will also urge states outside the Rome Statute to consider acceding to the Treaty,” said State Secretary Hague.
Elisabeth Rehn, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, hails the donation as a strong signal of sustained British support for the Trust Fund. “The UK contribution should be of crucial importance to continue our work in DRC and Uganda, providing medical and psychosocial services to individual victims, as well as supporting reconciliation processes in and amongst victimized communities,” Ms Rehn said. “It will also be helpful in considering the expansion of the Fund’s scope of action to other ICC situations, such as Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire, as well to implement Court-ordered reparations awards.”
Ms Rehn welcomed the stated intent of Foreign Secretary Hague to use the United Kingdom’s Presidency of the G8, starting in January 2013, to strongly advocate for the need of concerted international action and more resources in the fight against sexual violence in conflict. She noted that “victims of gender crimes are in particular considered by the Trust Fund for Victims, as these crimes are amongst the most intrusive at the individual level and aim to destroy the fabric of families and communities.”
Foreign Secretary Hague announced the set up of a multidisciplinary task force to support international and national jurisdictions in investigating and preventing sexual violence in armed conflict.
Background: The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV)
The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is the first of its kind in the global movement to end impunity and promote justice. At the end of one of the bloodiest centuries in human history, the international community made a commitment to end impunity, help prevent the gravest crimes known to humanity and bring justice to victims with the adoption of the Rome Statute. In 2002, the Rome Statute came into effect and the Assembly of States Parties established the TFV under article 79 of the Rome Statute, 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.
The TFV addresses and responds to the physical, psychological, or material needs of the most vulnerable victims. It raises public awareness and mobilizes people, ideas and resources. It funds innovative projects through intermediaries to relieve the suffering of the often forgotten survivors. The TFV works closely with NGOs, community groups, women’s grassroots organisations, governments, and UN agencies at local, national, and international levels. By focusing on local ownership and leadership, the TFV empowers victims as main stakeholders in the process of rebuilding their lives. With the unique roles of implementing both Court-ordered and general assistance to victims of crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction, the Trust Fund for Victims offers key advantages for promoting lasting peace, reconciliation, and wellbeing in war-torn societies. The TFV fulfils two mandates for victims of crimes under jurisdiction of the ICC:
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 and their families in situations where the Court is active with physical rehabilitation, material support, and/or psychological rehabilitation.
Currently, the TFV is providing a broad range of support under its second mandate in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – including access to reproductive health services, vocational training, trauma-based counselling, reconciliation workshops, reconstructive surgery and more – to an estimated 80,000 victims of crimes under the ICC's jurisdiction. Most of our projects have incorporated both gender-specific and child-specific interventions to support the special vulnerability of women, girls, and boys.
There are currently seven situations before the ICC, in Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Darfur, Central African Republic (CAR), Kenya, Libya and Cote d’Ivoire, 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho_fEiZ3ark
For more information visit: http://www.trustfundforvictims.org/homepage.
TFV Board of Directors
Ms Elisabeth Rehn (chair) (Finland, representing Western European and Other States),
His Excellency, Bulgaa Altangerel (Mongolia, representing the Asian States),
Ms Betty Kaari Murungi (Kenya, representing African States),
Mr Eduardo Pizarro Leongómez (until May 2012) (Colombia, representing the Americas and Caribbean State),
Her Excellency Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (Latvia, representing Eastern European States)
For more information contact: Gaelle van der Meerendonk at +31 (0)70 515-8872 or by e-mail at: Gaelle.VanDerMeerendonk@icc-cpi.int