European Day for Victims of Crime
Today, Monday 22 February marks the European Day for Victims of Crime. Every year, 75 million people fall victim to crime across the European Union. New rules that apply across the EU since November 2016 guarantee that people who fall victim to crime in the EU benefit from a minimum set of rights.
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: "We now have new rules that entered into force in November to support and protect victims of crime. I will make sure that these new EU rules are applied across the Union. No matter where you live or where you come from, if you fall victim to a crime in Europe you should always receive treatment that meets your needs" .
Practices in the EU Member States:
Virtual tour of a courtroom
Victims can feel confused in a courtroom if they don't know what a trial looks like. This virtual tour of a courtroom, created by the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority (Brottsoffermyndigheten), includes a filmed trial and an explanation of proceedings along with commonly experienced emotional reactions for victims of crime or violence. This way, victims can feel more prepared and confident when accessing the justice they deserve.
Tips for tourists
People don't always know that if they are victims of a crime on holiday in the EU, they often have the same rights as in their own country. EU-funded project May I Help You, implemented by APAV | Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima gives a clear and useful overview of these rights, as well as some handy tips to make sure you travel safely.
Guide to Victims' Rights Directive
In November last year the Victims' Rights Directive came into force. It gives a clear set of binding rules for EU Member States to make sure that all victims of crime can access their rights in the whole of the EU, whatever their nationality. The Justicia European Rights Network created this guide to help victims and practitioners understand the new EU victims' rights.
Charter of Victims' Rights
In 2014, Northern Ireland produced a Charter for Victims of Crime, setting out clear entitlements and standards of service that victims can expect from law enforcement authorities. Since the end of 2015, this Charter has become legally binding. They included also an easy-to-read version and a version for young people, as well as versions in different languages.
Implementation handbook for practitioners
The Evaluation of Victims (EVVI) project is a joint initiative from the French Ministry of Justice with the support of other national ministries and the victims' support service Apoio à Vítima. They have created a handbook for practitioners on how to implement the EU's Victims' Rights Directive, working on ways to assess the treatment of victims and their access to proper rights all the way through the legal process.
Protection Order across the EU
The Poems project on Protection Orders in the European Member States is researching how protection order legislation is implemented within different EU countries. With national reports and legal experts, this research compares national laws and practices and comes up with indicators of good levels of legal protection, as well as identifying gaps or problems in implementation that need to be addressed.