Victims' Rights Strategy

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EESC opinion: Victims' Rights Strategy

Key points

The EESC:

  • warmly welcomes the European Commission's EU strategy on victims' rights for 2020-2025, which supports long-term planning and the proper coordinated implementation of policies across a wide range of sectors, while ensuring that no victim is forgotten;
  • believes that, in order to be operational, the strategy needs a clear action plan with details on how and when to implement actions, and what outcomes are expected. The proposed strategy should provide more guidance and a detailed overview of how Member States could implement high-quality standards and put in place accessible, fair and effective tools to support victims in their access to such restorative services;
  • believes that the proposed strategy should be read and implemented alongside other EU strategies: the Gender Equality Strategy, the EU Strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people Equality Strategy, the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • calls the European Commission to use the strategy to encourage Member States to support data collection and consultation with communities and victims and potential victims, and carry out needs assessments to guide policy-making and institutional responses;
  • recommends that the role of the proposed EU network on the prevention of gender-based violence and domestic violence, referred to in the strategy, should also be expanded to cover the objectives and outputs regarding identification and mitigation of this type of crime;
  • believes that some aspects in the strategy could benefit from further clarification, including: the promotion of training should not be limited to judicial and/or law enforcement authorities; the provision of EU funding to national victim support organisations and community-based organisations should be complemented by enhanced cooperation between civil society organisations and local or national authorities; national campaigns to raise awareness of victims' rights should be adapted to the needs and specific characteristics of particularly vulnerable communities, including non-EU nationals, refugees and asylum-seekers;
  • believes that, as reflected in the COVID19 experience, developing emergency shelters, safe houses and support centres and providing integrated support services is a necessity and needs the cooperation of national authorities and civil society actors, as well as EU funding;
  • calls the European Commission to integrate victims' agenda into all EU funding programmes, including EU funds managed at national and international level.