POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR URGENT INTERIM REPARATION MEASURES

A. Preamble
B. Context: UIR and the Act
C. Policy Framework
D. Principles
E. Operational Issues
F. Outstanding issues for TRC discussion

 

A. PREAMBLE

The Reparation and Rehabilitation Policy guidelines promotes a development centred approach. It is firmly grounded on the quest for reparations which will be sustainable. The proposal is for reparations which will benefit not only individual survivors of human rights violations as defined by the National Reconciliation Act of 1995 but all the communities whose dignity was destroyed through a systematic machinery of human rights violations and state neglect.

Recalling the Interim Constitution and specifically where it refers to the need for understanding and not vengeance, the need for reparation and not retaliation and the need for ubuntu and not victimisation,

Understanding the negotiated settlement and context which led to the Interim Constitution stating that, in order to advance reconciliation and reconstruction, amnesty will be granted in respect of acts, omissions and offences associated with political objectives committed in the course of the conflicts of the past,

Acknowledging the pain, anguish and loss suffered by victims of human rights violations in the past,

Maintaining that an important element of justice is restoration, restitution and reparation, whether there is punishment or not and that victims of human rights violations have an inalienable right to fair and adequate reparation and rehabilitation, especially in a context where provision is made for amnesty,

Realising the distinct need for urgent interim reparation in cases where the victims are unable to wait for the final outcome and recommendation of the TRC.

Confirming that the measures of urgent interim nature as recommended and subsequently implemented, will not exclude victims to be considered as part of the final reparation recommendations made to the President at the end of the TRC, and similarly will consideration under one category of UIR policy does not preclude a victim from being considered under other categories,

Believing that the need to grant reparation to victims is one of urgency and that it will contribute to the building of a new and just moral order,

The Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee propose that the measures, principles as outlined in the UIR Policy framework form the first steps to making adequate and fair reparation and rehabilitation to those victims as described by the Act and towards furthering reconciliation and national unity.

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B. CONTEXT - THE ACT AND URGENT INTERIM REPARATION

The Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (no. 34 of 1995) allows the TRC to make recommendations to the President in so far as measures of Urgent Interim Reparation (UIR) are concerned. These should be recommendations as to appropriate measures of reparations to victims of gross human rights violations. The recommendations can only be made for people who have been referred to the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee (RRC), by the Committees for Human Rights Violation and Amnesty. Ultimately the President will consider these recommendations with Parliament and decide in which way to implement them.

The policy recommendations, as outlined in this framework, will provide the guidelines according to which recommendations for specific victims will be considered.

Key considerations in the Act

Definition of terms

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C. POLICY FRAMEWORK

The proposed policy framework focuses on five (5) categories of measures according to which UIR should be granted to victims as defined in the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (No. 34 of 1995).

The 5 categories deal with very seriously affected victim's rights to urgent interventions with regard to

The policy framework provides the measures that should be regulated in order to deal effectively with each category of urgent interventions. In each category the criteria for victims who will be considered for the measures, as well as the envisaged methods of provision, need to be considered.

All the envisaged methods of provision or implementation assumes the establishment of UIR Desk at a national level devolving to provincial and local levels. A recommendation as far as the administration / implementation body is concerned, follow after the discussion of the different categories of UIR measures. [see E. Operational Issues]

EMOTIONAL INTERVENTIONS

Measures

Criteria

Provision

  • Emotional support to be facilitated through a support structure which is consistent with the victims preference and is considered by the RRC Committee to be an appropriate, accountable, accessible and good quality service.
  • Those victims whose emotional quality of life has been and continues to be, severely affected as a result of the violation.
    [Severity is understood as a state of debilitation of emotional and social functioning such that the individuals quality of life has been affected by the violation, and realistically will remain unchanged in the future, unless some form of emotional intervention is undertaken.]
  • Those victims who have been orphaned as a direct result of the violation and have inadequate material support to meet their immediate emotional needs.
  • Once the individual has been confirmed to be a victim according to the parameters of the Act, an initial assessment follows through the use of the UIR Form.
  • The UIR Desk will be responsible for the implementation and arrangement of full assessments of the individual’s present emotional state by mental health workers. Based on the recommendations of the assessment, referral to services which are considered appropriate, accessible and of high quality will follow.
  • A network audit of existing credible support services will be forwarded to the UIR Desk by the RRCC.
  • The competence of those supplying services will be assessed by the RRC Committee, bearing in mind that if a need is considered to be urgent the best quality services is needed. If a need is urgent it also implies that the traditional support structures (eg family, etc.) available to the individual have not prevented the need from becoming critical, thus an alternative, additional, specialised form of emotional intervention is necessary. Nevertheless, at all times, these formal services will be complemented by the informal support structures (e.g. family, caregivers and community support services like priests) available to the individual at the time.
  • Relevant support services include both the services provided by individuals and organisations on a voluntary basis, as well as formal and existing private and state provided services.
  • Provision should also be made for providing the transport costs of volunteers to be paid when providing services to those needing urgent intervention. [The first services to be utilised will be services offered by individuals and organisations who are willing to provide their services free of charge to the victims.]

MATERIAL INTERVENTIONS

Measures

Criteria

Provision

  • The granting of financial aid in the form of a lump-sum or pension payment and/or ensuring that the lost or diminished pension rights are re-established and/or payment or facilitation to ensure the clearing of outstanding debts linked to the violation.
  • Those victims, both young and old, who are terminally ill and/or frail and will not survive beyond the life of the TRC.
  • Those victims who have been orphaned as a result of the violation and have inadequate material support.
  • Once the individual has been confirmed to be a victim according to the parameters of the Act, an initial assessment follows through the use of the UIR Form.
  • Provision will be made through the UIR Desk for the victim to be assessed by two independent medical practitioners, or by a medical practitioner designated by state who will either certify that the individual is terminally ill or will probably not survive the duration of the TRC.
  • Those who qualify for the granting of financial aid will be eligible for a pension or a lump-sum payment. The regional UIR Desks facilitate such payments after assessing the requests.
  • The RRC Committee will recommend to the UIR Desk that the structure of payments be standardised.
  • The UIR desk will take appropriate action to re-establish lost or diminished pension rights.
  • The UIR Desk will consider the payment of debts or clearing of outstanding payments where appropriate. Cases where the individual had sought justice in the past and the present costs have significant impact on the material life of the individual and their dependants, will be prioritised.
  • Those who are categorised as orphans due to violation and qualify for financial aid will receive special maintenance grants. A standardised structure for payments will be developed in conjunction with relevant ministries. The programme will particularly serve those orphans under the age of 18 but could be extended up to the age of 21 for those still studying.
  • The facilitation of emergency shelter
  • Those victims, and their dependants, who as a result of the violation have no fixed home or shelter.
  • Those victims who have been orphaned as a result of the violation and are in particularly dire living conditions.
  • Once the individual has been confirmed to be a victim according to the parameters of the Act, an initial assessment follows through the use of the UIR Form.
  • Those who are in need of emergency shelter will be placed in short term shelter, or renovations can be facilitated in the homes if the needs are urgent. Another option would be to facilitate placing of individuals as urgent priority on the various government housing programmes. The programme will be administered by the UIR Desk.

MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS

Measures

Criteria

Provision

  • Medical support to be facilitated through a medical support structure which is consistent with the victim’s preference and is considered by the RRC Committee to be an appropriate, accountable, accessible and good quality service.
  • Medical interventions will be provided for debilitating conditions and provision of medical equipment.
  • Those victims, both young and old, who are terminally ill and/or frail and will not survive beyond the live of the TRC.
  • Those victims, who are physically disabled as a result of the violation
  • Those victims suffering from a debilitating physical condition such that the independent social functioning is markedly impaired and/or victims who cannot function independently and/victims who are a significant burden on caregivers and their quality of life has been severely affected by the violation. This situation and/or condition will realistically remain unchanged in the future unless some form of medical intervention is undertaken.
  • Those victims who have been orphaned as a result of a violation and have inadequate material support to meet their immediate needs.
  • Once the individual has been confirmed to be a victim according to the parameters of the Act, an initial assessment follows through the use of the UIR Form.
  • Provision will be made through the UIR Desk for the victim to be assessed by two independent medical practitioners or by a designated state medical practitioner who will certify that the individual is terminally ill, disabled, suffering from a debilitating condition or will probably not survive the duration of the TRC. The practitioners will make recommendations for medical interventions and any other measures to be undertaken.
  • A network of medical services will be established through the UIR Desk.
  • The competence of those supplying services will be assessed by the RRC Committee, bearing in mind that if a need is considered to be urgent the best quality services is needed. Medical support will be appropriate, accessible and of good quality.
  • Medical services include both the services provided by individuals and organisations on a voluntary basis, as well as formal and existing private and state provided services.
  • Provision will also be made for the reimbursement of transport costs of volunteers incurred providing services to those needing urgent intervention. [The first services to be utilised will be services offered by individuals and organisations who are willing to provide their services free of charge to the victims.]
  • Limited payment according to a standardised structure will be made for medical interventions which will improve or cure debilitating conditions, for prosthetic procedures and instruments which will improve the life of the victim significantly.

SYMBOLIC INTERVENTIONS

Measures

Criteria

Provision

  • Measures to expedite existing matters of urgency.
    [For example, the issuing of death certificates, clearing of victims names especially those with criminal records or considered to be informants, visiting the places where violations took place or sites of burial, writing letters to government departments and lawyers and taking appropriate action to expedite cases and payments, declare a person dead and settle legal procedures and problems.]
  • Exhumations and reburials. (individual/collective)
  • Tombstones and shrines. (individual/collective)
  • Facilitation of feedback on cases under investigation.
  • Facilitation of public acknowledgements and apologies.
  • Victim-offender mediation
  • Those victims, both young and old, who are terminally ill and/or frail and will not survive beyond the life of the TRC.
  • Once the individual has been confirmed to be a victim according to the parameters of the Act, an initial assessment follows through the use of the UIR Form.
  • The victim will have to be assessed by either two independent medical practitioners or by a designated state medical practitioner, who will certify that the individual is terminally ill or will probably not survive the duration of the TRC.
  • The UIR Desk will arrange for exhumations, reburials and the purchase of tombstones as recommended by the RRC Committee. Prescribed payment will be made available for such procedures and actions.
  • Public acknowledgements and apologies will be facilitated through the RRC Committees in consultation with the HRV Committees.
  • Victim-offender mediation will be co-ordinated at a regional level through an audit of relevant credible support services as provided by the regional RRC Committee.

EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTIONS

Measures

Criteria

Provision

  • Educational support to be facilitated through the granting of financial assistance or bursaries for the completion of studies at senior secondary or tertiary level.
  • Facilitation to access and utilise free primary and secondary education.
  • Facilitate access to special education, particularly for those disabled either physically mentally as a result of the violation.
  • Those victims, and dependants of victims, whose senior-secondary or tertiary studies have been interrupted as a result of the violation and for whom future prospects for education will be jeopardised unless urgent intervention, (financial or otherwise), is undertaken to ensure they continue studying.
  • Children who are victims or dependants of victims, who qualify for free (primary and secondary) education but are not aware or failing to take advantage of such education.
  • Those victims who have been orphaned as a result of the violation and have inadequate material support or social structure to ensure that they are receiving adequate education.
  • Those victims who have been physically or mentally disabled as a result of the violation and require specialised education.
  • Once the individual has been confirmed to be a victim according to the parameters of the Act, an initial assessment follows through the use of the UIR Form.
  • The UIR Desk will facilitate educational assistance through the writing of letters and liaison with educational institutions (e.g. arrange for a child to receive specific education through a government school or welfare grant) to ensure appropriate referral occurs for those who qualify for such education. In most instances that free or funded educational support should be obtainable.
  • The UIR Desk will facilitate access to existing bursary and financial aid schemes for those victims qualifying for senior secondary or tertiary education as specified in the first measure. If this fails, payment for studies in the form of bridging funds will be considered according to a standardised and limited rate. Payment will be dependant on the student’s performance.
  • For orphans requiring assistance, the UIR Desk will ensure that the individual receives education through available bursaries, state-aid or supplement studies through the granting of funds for studying according to a limited and standardised rate.
  • Facilitate urgent access to special schools.

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D. PRINCIPLES

Policy makers shall prepare a programme of reparations, taking into account the following principles:

i) Redress, which is the right to fair and adequate compensation.

ii) Restitution, which is the right to the re-establishment, as far as possible, of the situation that existed for the beneficiary prior to the violation.

iii) Rehabilitation, which is the right to the provision of medical and psychological care and the fulfilment of significant personal and community needs.

iv) Restoration of dignity, which could include symbolic forms of reparation; and

v) Reassurance of non-repetition, which is the creation of legislative and administrative measures, which contribute to the maintenance of a stable society and the prevention of the re-occurence of human rights violations.

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E. OPERATIONAL ISSUES

Basic premises

RRC Information Instruments (UIR)


Envisaged RRC (UIR) Information Flow

F. OUTSTANDING ISSUES FOR TRC DISCUSSION

Severe ill treatment and Political objective

Redress and Fair compensation

Victim definition

Exiting the TRC

UIR and long term RR policy


UIR Policy Framework
14 Sept 1996