Victims’ Rights: New Strategy to empower victims


(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The European Commission presented today 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 strategy sets a number of actions for the next five years, focusing on two objectives: first, to empower victims to report crime, claim compensation and ultimately recover from consequences of crime; second, to work together with all relevant actors for victims’ rights. In view of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown measures, which had an impact on a rise in domestic violence, child sexual abuse, cybercrime and racist and xenophobic hate crime, it is particularly important that the framework for support and protection of victims is also resilient in crisis situations.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová said: “Too many victims of crime are left unheard without access to justice and proper support. The European Union is on the side of the victims and today’s strategy aims at empowering victims, especially the most vulnerable such as victims of gender-based violence or hate crime. We need to mobilise Member States to fully implement EU rules on victims’ rights – no ifs, no buts.”

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders said: “A Union of equality that protects its citizens must ensure the necessary support, protection and non-discriminatory access to justice to all victims of crime. This is what we will strive to achieve thanks to the new strategy, by working together with Member States and civil society.”

The EU has already a solid set of rules to ensure victims’ rights. Yet, victims of crime still cannot fully rely on their rights provided by the EU. The starting point must be better application of EU rules in practice. Where appropriate, the Commission will table by 2022 proposals to further strengthen those rules. The new Strategy presented today sets out a number of actions centred around five key priorities:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


Every year millions of people in the European Union become victims of crime. In 2017, around 15 million people were victims of serious offences, such as homicide, child sexual abuse or kidnapping. The scale of gender-based violence in the EU is alarming: 1 in 3 women (33 %) has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since she was 15 years old. Only about one third of women, who are physically or sexually abused, mostly by their partners or close relatives, contact the authorities. The lockdown of society during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a rise in domestic violence, child sexual abuse and cybercrime, as well as racist and xenophobic hate crime.

Even though the EU has a solid set of rules in place, these instruments have not yet reached their full potential. This is mostly because of the incomplete transposition and/or incorrect implementation of the EU rules into national legal orders. The Commission will continue to assess EU instruments and their possible shortcomings and, where necessary come forward with legislative proposals by 2022 to further strengthen victims’ rights.

The implementation of this strategy will be regularly monitored, including through regular meetings of the Victims’ Rights Platform to update on actions under the responsibility of different actors. In addition, the Commission will take stock of the strategy’s actions at the mid-term of this strategy and update it where necessary.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Indian case: health policies need to keep pace with public health literacy

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

Sustainability, peace, security ‘best guarantee against instability’ Guterres to Security Council

The new Kiev rulers ask $35 billion from the West

The final countdown towards achieving the 2030 Agenda: the contribution of future health(care) professionals

More than half of world’s refugee children ‘do not get an education’, warns UNHCR

VAT: EU Member States still losing almost €150 billion in revenues according to new figures

The Central Mediterranean migration route in times of COVID-19

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

China hopes EU Commissioner De Gucht drops super anti-dumping tariff on solar panels

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

UN updates guidelines to ensure successful return to civilian life for former combatants

Mergers: Commission approves Varta AG’s acquisition of Energizer’s divestment business, subject to conditions

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Estonia submits official recovery and resilience plan

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

UN agriculture chief urges ‘transformative changes’ to how we eat

Newly licensed vaccine, ‘milestone in the fight’ against Ebola in Africa, UN health agency

Ocean Conference has potential to be a ‘global game-changer’

How can we regulate disruptive technologies?

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

Banning caged farming in the EU: Hearing on the European Citizens’ Initiative

Activist investors are more powerful than ever. Here’s what that means for the economy

The world to teach Germans to…un-German

38th ACP-EU Assembly: dialogue on cooperation challenges in Kigali

Brazilian health: right or privilege?

Digital technology helped create the skills gap. Here’s how it can help close it

An expert explains: How to talk to boys about mental health, girls and growing up

Weather reports could soon be telling us about the role of climate change

Most leaders are missing this crucial character trait

European Commission welcomes the endorsement of the new €79.5 billion NDICI-Global Europe instrument to support EU’s external action

Commission launches consultation to seek views on Digital Services Act package

How the massive plan to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine could make history – and leverage blockchain like never before

This is what a Green New Deal for Europe could look like

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

Khashoggi case highlights ‘very worrying practice’ of overseas abductions, says UN expert

Theresa May expresses her optimism about Britain’s economic success while UK business outlook seems ominous

These are the next big products in consumer technology

Palestinian Bedouin community faces demolition after Israeli court ruling, warns UN rights office

Close to 7,000 evacuated from Syrian towns after enduring nearly 3-year siege

The cost of generating renewable energy has fallen – a lot

Compensation for damages by the State for infringement of EU law: the European Commission refers Spain to the Court of Justice for its rules on the compensation for damages incurred by private parties

European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more

Parliament demands democratic scrutiny over national recovery efforts

Yes, ESG is complicated. Together, we can simplify it

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

NASA is recruiting new astronauts – this is what it takes to apply

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Adoption of new rules to better protect children caught in cross-border parental disputes

Coronavirus: EU channels critical support to India via EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

The ECB ‘accidentally’ followed IMF‘s policy advice for growth and job creation by printing more money

12 steps to decarbonise your city

Countries urged to make ‘digital world’ safer for children

Greece did it again

UN gender agency hails record-breaking number of women in new US Congress as ‘historic victory’

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s