Open Letter to the UK Government: Repurposing of £2.5 billion in Chelsea FC Sale for Victims
REDRESS has written a letter to the UK government requesting that it engages civil society, including victim and survivor groups, in the repurposing of £2.5 billion following sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea Football Club.
It is reported that the funds will be forfeited to the UK government and earmarked for a charitable foundation to aid victims of the war in Ukraine. The funds represent more than five times the value of the humanitarian and economic support already provided to Ukraine by the UK. This presents a unique opportunity for the UK to have a profound impact on the lives of victims, ensuring their right to reparations is upheld.
To ensure the funds are used effectively to address urgent needs, as well as long-term rehabilitation and restoration of the country, REDRESS calls for:
1. A commitment from the government:
a. Taking steps to ensure that the funds will be delivered to Ukrainian victims, including victims of conflict-related sexual violence, a. Confirming that the funds will be donated to an organisation or charitable foundation that is independent and victim-centred, and
b. Confirming that it will engage civil society in guiding the repurposing of the funds.
2. The prompt establishment of a Working Group between government, civil society and survivors to ensure the funds are distributed in an effective and timely manner.
When delivering the funds, REDRESS also proposes that the government considers models from existing repurposing mechanisms, current efforts by the Ukrainian government to set up reparations mechanisms, independent reparations mechanisms such as the Global Survivors Fund, and making a voluntary contribution to the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims.
Photo by: Brent Flanders, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0