As we mark the 18th Anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda on 7th April, Survivors Fund (SURF) is supporting the commemoration, as well as calling for action to secure reparation for survivors.
Over the past month in Rwanda, SURF in partnership with Redress, and in collaboration with IBUKA, has been working on a project exploring the rights to reparation (which includes compensation, restitution and rehabilitation) for survivors.
There are a number of pieces of legislation in development at present in Rwanda which will have a significant impact on the rights of survivors to reparation. These include a new draft law on the rights of victims and witnesses of intentional offences, and legislation currently in discussion on the termination of gacaca, which includes clauses on the rights of survivors to reparation of property from convicted perpetrators of the genocide.
At a workshop convened by SURF and Redress, in association with IBUKA, an array of survivor’s organisations discussed the legislation and a series of recommendations were agreed to determine how legislation could be developed to incorporate the right of survivors for reparation.
The recommendations were then presented at a meeting of other stakeholders, including representatives from the government ministries and agencies, to solicit their input on the best way forward to progress the work. A copy of the presentation is available for download here.
There is still work required to reach a consensus, and then to ensure that the views of survivor’s organisations are incorporated into the draft legislation. Even then, it may still be many years until survivors receive the reparation that is due to them. However, Survivors Fund (SURF) will not cease until the right of survivors to reparation is secured.