Trust Fund for Family Visits
All persons detained by the ICC can receive family visits, in accordance with Regulation 100(1) of the Regulations of the Court and Regulation 179 of the Registry. Financial support for such visits assists the Court in upholding its obligation to ensure the highest standards for the detained persons and their human rights as well as their families'.
The ICC Presidency, in its judicial decision of 10 March 2009 (ICC-RoR-217-02/08-08), upheld that the Court had an obligation to provide and fund family visits of indigent detained persons, due to the fact that (i) persons detained in The Hague tend to be far from where their family is located, and (ii) detained persons are presumed innocent until final judgement, a period that can extend over several years.
Reinforcing this decision was a 2009 Resolution from the ICC Assembly of States Parties (ASP) (Resolution ICC-ASP/8/Res.4), which invited the Court to continue to address the well-being of the detained persons under its custody, paying particular attention to the maintenance of family contacts.
One year later, in 2010, the ASP established a special Trust Fund for Family Visits within the ICC Registry, which operates entirely through voluntary donations. This fund was created to allow family visits for indigent detained persons, to ensure that the family rights of all ICC detained persons are upheld equally (ICC-ASP/9/Res.4 (see point X)).
On 30 August 2016, the ICC Presidency made public a decision re-affirming the Court's obligation to provide an effective right to family visits for ICC detained persons, including through funding for such visits (ICC-RoR221-02/16-3-Red).
The Fund is entirely subsidized through voluntary donations of States, NGOs, civil society, individuals and other entities, which makes donations imperative to ensure equal treatment for indigent detained persons.
Current status of the Family Visits Trust Fund
Since its inception, the Fund received contributions from four States on six separate occasions (2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016) namely from the following States: Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the Philippines. With these funds, since 2011, the Court has been able to arrange a total of 26 visits for 80 persons, benefiting seven detained persons out of which three are still currently at the detention centre. To date, the Court has 23 cases ongoing, with 5 individuals in custody at the ICC detention centre.
The Court is thus in need for additional funding to arrange for foreseeable family visits in the coming months and years, in order not to run the risk of being unable to meet its family visit responsibility to indigent detainees and their families. Concretely, the Court requires funds in order to be in the position to finance 8 visits for 24 individuals foreseen to take place in 2017.
The Court urges all interested stakeholders to consider making a donation to this important fund, in order to continue supporting the visits of indigent detained persons' family members and ensure the rights of the detained persons. For more information and possible donations, please contact the Court at [email protected].