Newsletter February 2024

Dear members and friends,

Robert Badinter died on the 9 February 2024. Numerous beautifully worded tributes -mostly in the French media- have already been written; we couldn’t be any more eloquent. However, just one thought: he enabled and still enables all those who listened to him and read him to grow and become better versions of themselves.

Quotes from Robert Badinter:

“Those who believe in the dissuasive power of capital punishment misunderstand the fundamentals of human nature. Crimes of passion are no more prevented because of the death penalty than other more ‘noble’ crimes. It is a fallacy that fear of the death penalty will hold men back when under the influence of extreme passion.”

“It is anti-justice…it is passion and fear prevailing over humanity. At that moment of madness, at that time of murderous impulse, the evocation of the penalty (whether it is capital punishment or life without parole) is non-existant in the mind of the murderer.”

“We must always and forever repudiate that death be cloaked in law under the guise of justice.”

“Not only is capital punishment sacrilegious and against life itself, it is ultimately ineffective. Never, in any instance, has it reduced violent crime. It is a reaction and is in no way dissuasive; it is just legalised killing. It demeans us to protect us. It is vengeance, not justice.”

Vivere has been a member of the Coalition mondiale contre la peine de mort (World Coalition Against The Death Penalty)

Since 2016 Vivere has been a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.


Vivere Annual General meeting-Thursday 16 May 2024, 19:00, Lausanne


The AGM holds a very important place in the democratic process of any organisation. It is, among other things, when the Annual Report and accounts are submitted to the members for approval. Please reserve the date and, if possible, pay your dues before the meeting. Thank you in advance.


2° Syrie

By the end of January, 50 children were receiving nutritional supplements-11 of whom are newborn babies  we started to help in December 2023, and a further 18 last month.

Amongst the newborns taken onto this scheme, is Raghad. Our team in Syria has provided us with more details:

“..he emigrated from Palmeyre to our town, along with his 3 brothers and sisters and parents. They fled, having been subjected to terrifying massacres, killings and violence, leaving behind a small, simple house that they had built with their bare hands. They fled to our town to find sanctuary and are now living in a house that has been lent to them, with no doors, no windows and rubber mats on the floor to sleep on. Over half of the neighbourhood where they are living has been reduced to rubble. The father has been kept on so-called ‘reserve duty’ for military service for years.”

In January, newborn Ritaje became a beneficiary:

“ Ritaje, 5 months old, is the fourth of three children. During the war, the whole family was forced to leave their house here to find refuge in Hama. The sad thing is that the father has been forced into casual labour  so that he can feed his family because he has been on ‘reserve duty’ for military service for the past 7 years. Military service is obligatory here; you never know how long you will be called up for 5, 6, 8, 10 years? That is, if you get out alive, not maimed or killed as a ‘martyr’ – and if you do, you’re lost, desperate, driven nearly mad!………next comes the call to enlist in the ‘reserves’. Forced, yet again to leave your family, children, work- and for what? This is why over a million young men are running away, hiding from military patrols and checks, from being attacked in their own homes.”



3° Ukraine

  • Help to refugees from: Kyiv, Ternopil, Odessa, Dniepr, Irpen, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Marioupol, Louhansk and Mykolaev.


In Transnistria, we helped support 133 refugees between August and December 2023.

In Poland, 124 refugees received some kind of support between August and December.

In the east Ukraine, about a dozen displaced people because of the war, are helped every month.



    • Prevention of Human Trafficking : The social chaos caused by war always creates the perfect conditions for human traffickers: millions of people simultaneously uprooted from their homes, families split up, fathers called up for army service or killed in battle, orphanages destroyed etc. In spite of the dangers and risks associated with any kind of structured activity in Ukraine today, our partner team in Zhytomyr has been adapting our work to the situation on the ground to ensure that young people in this area are made aware of the dangers posed by the criminals who are trying to exploit them and entice them into modern day slavery.


    • legal proceeding on war crimes committed by the invading army : Our lawyer in Kharkiv has been able to work in very close collaboration with the local authorities, prosecutors, investigators, and para- legal medics, and has just filed the 11th case, which Vivere has taken on. In brief: Natalia (not her real name) lives with her elderly father in their house in the centre-east of the country.  Last year, one night at about 11pm, two drunk, Russian soldiers force open the door, scream abuse at Natalia and her father and pepper the kitchen with automatic gunfire. Natalia is forced upstairs, beaten, then raped with the soldiers taking it in turn. Trying to protect his daughter, the father is savagely beaten up and then subjected to a mock execution, a pistol put right to his forehead- and then he is locked in the cellar. Natalia and her father have only been able to return to their village recently.  They have been brave enough to file a legal complaint with the help of our lawyer. Thanks to the documents collated by the prosecution, the victims have been able to identify their attackers. This means that we should be able to proceed quickly with their trial.
    • The averge cost to Vivere to bring a single case to court is CHF 885 (E 1 053). The payment that we have just made for Natalia means that we are now in the red, and we cannot fund any more cases. We therefore must ask for your solidarity and help to enable us to continue our fight against impunity.



    4° Help for the victims of human Trafficking

    The annual report for 2023, which we are in the process of writing at the moment, show that we were able to help and repatriate 248 victims from 25 different nationalities- all of whom had been held and exploited in the Persian Gulf. This work is carried out under extremely sensitive and often dangerous conditions, and is in direct opposition to the interests of criminal gangs. It is only made possible due to the courage and tenacity both of our team in the field, and our partners in the victim’s home countries, who support the victims on their return. This means, on the one hand helping the victims escape from their abusive situations, and on the other hand mounting a legal fight against impunity.

    In the past year, Vivere has brought 20 new cases against human traffickers in Uzbekistan and Ukraine for a total of 42 victims.

    The photo below, taken in the country where the abuse and exploitation happened, shows two victims (eyes blanked out) protected by two members of our partner team. They were successful in saving these two women and repatriating them back to their home country.


    5°        Results of the Xmas Market-in solidarity with charitable causes

    This was organised last December in Lausanne by Pôle Sud and Fedevaco, and meant that Vivere could have a stand in the market over 3 days, thanks to the considerable help of about 10 volunteers. We raised CHF  3 792 ( E 3 991) which is a magnificent result! It has been allotted to the following projects:

    • Columbia – support to our nutrition and school projects for children in the Magangue community, in the context of working towards peace. Our partner organisation is Atucsara.
    • Burundi- support for 10 female sex workers, through a scheme whereby they can earn money in other ways. Our partner organisation is ‘Women’s Solidarity for Social Well-Being and Progress’, Bujumbura.



    6°        North Kivu, RdC : alert !


    As a result of a powerful offensive led by the ‘M23’ rebel forces, the whole of North Kivu has been under a state of siege, with curfews and restrictions of freedom for the public. This affects nearly 7 million inhabitants and more than a million displaced people from neighbouring regions. ‘Protection et Solidarité’ , our excellent regional partner, based in Goma , has been continuing its work in the face of many human and logistical challenges. Our team and children it has rescued, are subject to ever more danger. Please follow the link below from the Vivere website that shows a clip on the extent of panic that this state of war has inflicted on the population.




    7°        Alexeï Navalny

    Alexei Navalny died on Friday in a Russian prison camp in the north of the arctic circle. Having endured being poisoned, then imprisoned, this most ardent of Putin’s critics has just lost his life. We cannot remain silent. We must turn this atrocity into an international cry for hope against tyranny. Please sign the below petition written by Avaaz in homage to Alexei Navalny.



    Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions or comments.

    With our best regards,

       Vivere (committee)