Victims’ Rights Directive: MEPs call for better enforcement
In a resolution adopted in Plenary on Wednesday, MEPs criticize the fact that the EU Victims’ Rights Directive, designed to strengthen victims’ rights irrespective of where an offence took place, their nationality or residence status, still hasn’t been transposed into national legislation by all EU member states.
MEPs note that some member states have successfully implemented certain provisions (inter alia the right to interpretation and translation, to be heard and the protection of child victims), but point out important shortcomings, notably the complexity of procedures to access supports services, the lack of clear information in more than one language and of legislative foot-hold in cross-border cases.
MEPs call on member states to promote easy access to justice and adequate, free-of-charge legal aid, and to provide free translation and interpretation services.
They recall the vital importance of conducting the first contact with the victim properly, especially in the case of victims of gender-based violence, and call on member states to transpose into their legislation timely individual assessments of the victims, which are crucial to empowering them by informing them of their rights.
They also urge the European Commission and members states to provide gender-sensitive training programs for all professionals involved in dealing with victims of crime (law practitioners, police officers, prosecutors, judges, social workers…).
Source: European Parliament