Monitoring the victims Rights Directive. An Verelst Policy officer

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1 Monitoring the victims Rights Directive An Verelst Policy officer

2 Content 1. Introduction to Victim Support Europe 2. EU Directive on Victims Rights 3. Transposition and implementation of the Directive 4. Monitoring the Directive

3 About VSE Umbrella network for national victim support organisations in Europe It has 40 Members from 26 countries, including 21 Member States of the European Union. Its Members have around 3000 staff, volunteers and provide assistance to around 2 million people affected by crime and disasters each year

4 VSE Aims Promotes, advocates for and facilitates establishment and development of victims rights and services in Europe Helps victim support organisations to develop capacities, learn from each other, share best practice and cooperate.

5 EU Directive Victimisation in EU The directive can make a difference Examples of existing problems Great progress made

6 The proof of the pudding is in the eating Czech Republic, Spain, France, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom Transposition of the Directive into national law is a milestone in, not the end of implementation 6

7 Implementing the EU Victims Directive Implementation beyond legislative What is needed for true implementation? Good examples of transposition and implementation VSE supports transposition and implementation of the directive

8 Monitoring the Victims Directive Continuous Monitoring Monitoring Country Reports

9 Some focus on victim support but appears there are numerous problems As per FRA report 8 Member States do not have nationally provided victim support services Even where victim support exists it can be: Localised or supporting small numbers of victims Fragmented lack of co-ordination geographically or between organisations Focused on specific groups or types of crime or providing limited services Lacking funding Lack of formalised referral systems Article 8 and 9 Risks where support only provided through govt systems: many victims not access services, services are inflexible and don t adjust to needs of victims

10 Article 8 and 9 In delivering support services keep in mind important principles: The must Be Victim focused Be flexible and individual: timing of service, types of service provided, way service is provided Cover all victims (no hierarchy, no need to report, no need for offender) Accessible and visible Be co-ordinated Be available before, during, after proceedings

11 Article 8 Access Victim Support Services Referral of Victims Specialist Services Importance of having general services Not dependent on a victim making a formal complaint

12 Article 9 Support from Victim Support Services Ways of providing support Types of GBV Mapping Victim Support services in place

13 Article 22: Individual Assessment Individual assessment to identify special protection needs (Article 22) Assessment shall particularly take into account: Personal characteristics The type or nature of the crime The circumstances around the crime

14 Article 22: Indivual Assessment Practical difficulties and confusion over how best to implement At the MSs discretion on how to define assessments and risk of secondary and repeat victimisation, of intimidation and of retaliation by the offender during criminal proceedings EVVI project - guidelines developed for individual evaluation of victims VSE in place, carried out, assessment, types of questions, risks assessment

15 Article 25: Training of Practitioners General and specialist training Victim support and restorative justice services to receive adequate training Translated into practice Start changing attitudes towards victims secondary victimisation Depends on practitioners therefore assessing needs and providing training are important yet requires resources Police, prosecutors, judges, court staff, lawyers, medical staff must realise they have a role in assuring rights of victims. Not just about the hard skills also about soft skills

16 Redefining Justice wider areas for consideration Creating a culture of understanding and empathy for crime victims Building a path to reintegration for victims Recognise all victims of crime Promoting rights-based approach reaching all victims of crime no matter what crime they endured or where they are from Supporting individual assessments that ensures tailored protection, support and information for all victims taking into account vulnerabilities Practical implementation laws are not enough effective policy framework needed, funding needed, evaluation based on data and enforcement mechanisms needed

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