Reparations: Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement

Strand Three: Reconciliation and Victims of Violence

11. The participants believe that it is essential to acknowledge and address the suffering of the victims of violence as a necessary element of reconciliation. They look forward to the results of the work of the Northern Ireland Victims Commission.

12. It is recognised that victims have a right to remember as well as to contribute to a changed society. The achievement of a peaceful and just society would be the true memorial to the victims of violence. The participants particularly recognise that young people from areas affected by the troubles face particular difficulties and will support the development of special community-based initiatives based on international best practice. The provision of services that are supportive and sensitive to the needs of victims will also be a critical element and that support will need to be channeled through both statutory and community-based voluntary organisations facilitating locally-based self help and support networks. This will require the allocation of sufficient resources, including statutory funding as necessary, to meet the needs of victims and to provide for community-based support programmes.

Implementation History

1998

Intermediate Implementation

The Good Friday Agreement had provided for the allocation of resources, including statutory and funding as necessary to meet the needs of victims of the trouble. The accord also recognizes the role of the Northern Ireland Victim’s Commission. The Northern Ireland Victim’s Commission was responsible for coming up with a report on how the 3,600 victims and 40,000 injured during the troubles should be remembered. On 13 May 1998, the commission made its recommendation for compensation to victims of violence and their support groups; an official ombudsman was organized to deal with demands and grievances of victims, creation of physical memorial, among other recommendations. 

1999

Intermediate Implementation

After the recommendation, the government appointed Sir Ken Bloomfield to review the Criminal Injuries Compensation System. On 26 May 1999 the Northern Ireland (Location of Victims’ Remains) Act 1999 was passed and created the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains to locate remains of victims.

2000

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2001

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2002

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2003

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2004

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2005

Full Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2006

Full Implementation

 In 2006, Commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland was established under the office of the First Minister and First Deputy Minister. Among other responsibilities, the commission had r to manage a victims fund to help victims.1

The government had also established the Community Relations Council to administer Victim and Survivor Group’s funding (approximately £400,000 annually) and fund community/voluntary groups.2

2007

Full Implementation

No futher developments observed.