New EU Strategy to empower victims
The European Commission presented on 24th June 2020 its first ever EU Strategy on victims’ rights to ensure that all victims of crime can fully rely on their rights, no matter where in the EU the crime took place.
The new Strategy presented today sets out a number of actions centred around five key priorities:
- Effective communicating with victims and providing for safe environment for victims to report crime
Too often victims are not aware of their rights or are afraid to report the crime for fear of the offender or negative consequences. The Commission, among others, will launch an EU campaign to raise awareness about victims’ rights and promote specialist support and protection for the victims with specific needs. The Commission will also continue to monitor the implementation of the relevant EU rules, including the provisions of the Victims’ Rights Directive.
- Improving protection and support of the most vulnerable victims
All victims are vulnerable and some in particular: children, elderly, victims of gender-based violence, domestic violence, racist or homophobic hate crime, victims of terrorism as well as victims with disabilities. The Commission will consider further strengthening of victims’ protection by introducing minimum standards on victims’ physical protection. Member States should set up specialist support services for the most vulnerable victims, including Child Houses, Family Houses, LGBTI+ safe houses.
- Facilitating victims’ access to compensation
In many Member States, victims’ access to compensation is difficult. Under the Strategy, the Commission will monitor and assess the EU legislation on compensation, including state compensation and the Framework Decision on mutual recognition of financial penalties. If necessary, the Commission will propose measures to complement this framework by 2022.
- Strengthening cooperation and coordination among actors on victims’ rights
To ensure a more horizontal approach to victims’ rights at the EU level, the Commission will set up a Victims’ Rights Platform, bringing together all relevant actors.At the national level, Member States should set up national victims’ rights strategies. A Commission Victims’ Rights’ Coordinator will also ensure consistency and effectiveness of different actions in relation to the victims’ rights policy.
- Strengthening the international dimension of victims’ rights
The recently adopted Action Plan on human rights and democracy reaffirms the EU’s commitment to promoting, protecting and fulfilling human rights worldwide. The EU and its Member States will continue to engage with and within the United Nations and the Council of Europe to promote EU victims’ rights in partner countries and to exchange best practices. The EU will continue to work closely with the candidate and potential candidate countries to strengthen victim’s rights as well as support capacity building actions for priority partner countries in relation to support for victims of terrorism.
Download the full document EU Strategy on victims’ rights (2020-2025)