On 28 September 2009, a peaceful demonstration against the military junta taking place at the stadium in Conakry was violently repressed by security forces, and many people were subjected to sexual violence. A trial against several high-ranking officials finally began on 28 September 2022, but to date, no survivor has received reparation.
Guinea became the site of our first Act project in 2019, and we have been working hand-in-hand with survivors and civil society organisations. Together, we co-created a programme of interim reparative measures to help survivors rebuild their lives in the absence of reparations issued by the State.
Survivors have participated in the design of the reparative measures for both individuals and the collective community of survivors. All measures were tailored to meet their needs, improve their livelihoods, and address the mental and physical effects of the harms perpetrated against them. The reparative measures survivors chose are:
- The creation of a survivors’ centre open to all survivors of sexual violence in Guinea
- Financial compensation towards education for themselves and their children or grandchildren or support a housing project
- Medical care
- Psychological support
- A book of collective memory including photos and testimonies
- Financial management training
Each survivor developed a plan to make the best use of their compensation and participated in regular trainings to bring this plan to fruition. Almost all survivors sought to become financially independent through the project. For example, some chose to buy a plot of land for agriculture, while others bought a motorcycle-taxi. In parallel, one-on-one psychological therapy group therapy, family mediations was made available to survivors. Many also received gynaecological treatment. Among survivors who participated in an impact evaluation, quality of life ratings almost doubled because of the project. Survivors felt mentally and physically better, and more confident in themselves and their future.
As our interim reparative measures project comes to an end in 2023, we will continue to provide technical support and advocate in Guinea to ensure that the State upholds the right to reparation for survivors.