This session was organised by Research Advisors and Experts Europe together with the ICC Trust Fund for Victims (TFV). It considered the question of providing support to victims as reparations of Rome Statute Crimes. During situations of widespread crimes against humanity, sexual violence and war crimes, civilian victims may struggle to access adequate healthcare. If such situations are combined with widespread shut-downs of communications technology, basic needs and aid, how can barriers to assist victims of these crimes be overcome? This session discussed experiences with such situations. The session heard from healthcare workers in Ayder Hospital in Northern Ethiopia (Tigray), the Central African Republic, and in DR Congo who have faced such struggles, as well as organisations trying to assist them.
Speakers stated that communications and electricity blackouts appear to be a part of modern warfare strategies. This means that many of the horrors of conflict, including gender-based violence, remain hidden from international audiences. In the wartorn Tigray region in Ethiopia, the Ayder hospital is suffering from a severe lack of basic supplies and equipment. For example, cancer patients currently cannot receive treatment there as only emergencies can be treated. Speakers discussed the vital importance of the internet to spreading the message about such gruesome realities of war.