Books & Research

Bukae ba Sobrivivente: Providing Reparations for Victims of Sexual Violence during the 1975-1999 Conflict in Timor-Leste

This report outlines the scale and nature of the sexual violence and the enduring impact on the lives of survivors and children born of rape including an updated picture of their situations, needs and priorities; measures taken by the state of Timor-Leste and civil society to support survivors and address the right to reparations; gaps in information and knowledge about certain groups of survivors; and suggests key strategic considerations for a successful approach to both interim and full reparations for survivors and children born of rape.

As part of a Global Reparations Study, Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and Asosiasaun Chega! ba Ita (ACbit), in collaboration with the Global Survivors Fund (GSF), have conducted a study to identify the reparations needs of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in Timor-Leste, as well as the opportunities for delivering reparations to survivors through judicial and administrative processes. This Study presents and analyses survivors’ perceptions of, and expectations for reparations, and offers practical, concrete and context-specific recommendations to policymakers and other relevant actors at national and global levels to inform the design and delivery of survivor centred reparations in Timor-Leste. This Timor-Leste study also seeks to establish whether survivors of CRSV have already received any form of assistance and/or reparation through government programs or from civil society initiatives, and if so, what lessons can be learned from those experiences, to inform the design and delivery of comprehensive reparations in the future, including the potential delivery of interim reparative measures by GSF. As an objective in itself, the Timor-Leste Study process further aimed to increase the understanding and awareness of survivors’ rights to reparations and to create further momentum for the delivery of meaningful survivor-centred reparations to CRSV survivors in Timor-Leste.

The Timor-Leste Study is part of a global study on reparations (the “Global Reparations Study”) launched by GSF in 2020, which focuses on the status of and opportunities for reparations for survivors of CRSV in over 20 countries. The Global Reparations Study is a multi-actor effort led by GSF in collaboration with over 40 local and international partners, including survivors’ networks and groups. It seeks to make recommendations for further action based on survivors’ needs and aspirations and to identify potential support available among key actors and concrete action to enhance access to reparations for CRSV survivors around the world.