The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is pleased to announce that in 2021, the Government of Finland is making an additional voluntary contribution to the TFV, earmarked to reparations. The amount of EUR 275,000 will go to the implementation of reparation measures in the Lubanga case, which concern harm suffered by child soldiers (2002-2003) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This is the first time Finland provided an earmarked contribution to reparations resources.
Speaking on Finland’s increased support to the TFV and the Rome Statute, H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Minister of Foreign Affairs said, “One of Finland’s key foreign policy objectives is to support the international rules-based system, in which the ICC has a unique role. It is important that the victims be heard and involved in the process but they should also be supported in coping with their ordeal.”
Thanking the Government of Finland, TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan said, “As it becomes one of the TFV’s largest donors, Finland’s invaluable engagement with the TFV is taking a welcome next turn, earmarking their contribution to reparations for the benefit of former child soldiers, in the Lubanga case. The TFV is extremely grateful for Finland’s trust and looks forward to continue to cooperate and work together in ensuring reparative justice for the victims of the most heinous crimes.”
On 14 March 2012, Thomas Lubanga Dylio was found guilty, as a co-perpetrator, of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities in the DRC from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003.
On 3 March 2015, the Appeals Chamber issued the amended Reparations Order against Mr Lubanga. On 15 December 2017, the Trial Chamber set the amount of Mr Lubanga’s liability for collective service-based and symbolic reparations at USD 10 million. On 18 July 2019, the Appeals Chamber confirmed the decision.
With the collective service-based reparation programme in place since 15 March 2021, the TFV provides former child soldiers and their families with physical, psychological and socio-economic rehabilitation, aiming at facilitating their reintegration into society.
As the convicted person has been found to be indigent, the TFV continues to strive to make more funds available through voluntary contributions by States and private actors to facilitate the payment of the collective reparation award. To date, the TFV has complemented 49% of the total liability amount set in the Lubanga case.
With this contribution, Finland recognizes the importance of the TFV’s work to enable the victims of the crimes for which the International Criminal Court orders reparations to receive reparations for the harm they have suffered.