Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 250

Victims’ Rights Directive: MEPs call for better enforcement

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 1 giugno 2018

Parts of the Victims’ Rights Directive have been properly enforced by some EU countries, but more must be done to help victims of violence and terrorism. In a resolution adopted in Plenary on Wednesday, by 517 votes in favour, 74 against and 72 abstentions, MEPs criticise 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 programmes for all professionals involved in dealing with victims of crime (law practitioners, police officers, prosecutors, judges, social workers…).Regarding terrorism, in the context of the numerous attacks that have hit Europe over recent years, MEPs calls on member states to establish, when an attack occurs, a coordination centre providing information support and practical services to the victims and their families.
They add that victims should be provided with personalised, specific and relevant information in accordance with their needs, via the creation of a one-stop shop, an emergency phone line and a web portal offering free-of-charge and easily accessible support services, including information as well as psychological, legal, practical and administrative assistance.Co-rapporteur Angelika Mlinar (ALDE, AT) said: ‘‘The report is important to concretely improve the rights of all victims of crime and intensify the fight against all forms of gender-based violence and abuse. The member states must do much more to end the impunity that allows these human rights violations to continue. The victims deserve to be provided with all the support in order to rebuild their lives, such as access to justice, shelters and adequate health care. Our group has from the very beginning been pushing the Council to adopt this ambitious Directive; now the member states have to live up to their commitments, for the sake of all victims and especially women and girls.’’
Co-rapporteur Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio (EPP, ES) said: ‘‘More than ever, the European Union stands firm to help victims of crime, to treat each victim equally with respect and dignity and in accordance with their specific needs. This report also includes tailored and efficient measures to help, support and protect victims of terrorism.’’

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