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Hague Tribunal Launches Victims' Fund Program

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, December 2
The Directorate of the Victims' Fund (TFV) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague is launching a 3year Euro 600,000 assistance program for victims of the August 2008 war. The acting Minister of Justice, Gocha Lortkipanidze, a member of the Directorate of the Victims' Fund of the Hague Tribunal, stated about it.

The program will assist victims of the 2008 war on both sides of the border in medical treatment, psychological rehabilitation, and other support.

According to the Ministry of Justice, Georgia is the first European country for which the directorate has developed an assistance program.

The decision of the Victims' Fund was made based on a detailed study of the consequences of the August war: the victims and the extent to which its consequences affect the lives of the victims today, their safety, their right to health care.

The TFV Board’s decision was informed by the findings and recommendations of the thorough harm-based and victim-centered assessment conducted in 2019/2020. The assessment included wide-ranging consultations with victims, affected communities, Government, and civil society organisations.

The objective of the situation assessment was to examine whether victims continue to suffer to date from persistent injuries resulting from the 2008 conflict, for which the ICC has opened an investigation, and whether reparation or assistance interventions have been sponsored by Government, charities, or civil society. During the consultation, issues were discussed about the type of damage suffered by the victims of the August war and the extent to which its consequences affect the current lives of the victims, their safety, and the right to health care.

TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan underscored that this is the organisation's first program outside of the continent of Africa. “Sadly for those caught up in the conflict and specifically those in communities near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) this program is very necessary.” TFV head said, adding that working around the COVID-19 pandemic challenges as well as the TFV’s organizational capacity and available resources, the TFV will continue to strengthen and build new partnerships to make reparative justice a tangible reality for victims.

As the agency informed, the consultations between the Hague Tribunal and the State of Georgia revealed that the victims of the August war still need support in psychological, health, and other fields. Accordingly, the Directorate of the Victims' Fund has decided to approve a program to assist the victims of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the TFV of the Hague Tribunal will publish detailed information about the new assistance program as a result of further consultations with the Georgian government, civil society, and victims of the August war.

Speaking following the decision, Chair of the TFV Board of Directors Mama Koite Doumbia said that the victims in Georgia continue to endure injuries that result from the conflict in 2008 and they are living in precarious situations due to the destruction or loss of their property; they are displaced from their homes and now lack opportunity. “With this decision, we hope to be able to address some of these problems and help survivors move forward with hope and dignity and to restore their lives,” Doumbia said.