On 16 November, I attended Victim Support Europe’s presentation of their Vision for a Revised Victims’ Rights Directive at the EU Commission in Brussels. This event included a Keynote Speech by the EU Commissioner for Justice at the European Commission, as well as two panel discussions led by Saskia Bricmont, (MEP at the European Parliament) and Levent Altan (ED of Victim Support Europe).
The first panel presented standpoints on the proposed revision of the Victim Rights Directive of the EU Commission from both an EU perspective, provided by Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska (the EU Coordinator for Victims’ Rights at the EU Commission), as well as two national perspectives, from representatives of the Croatian and the Portuguese Victim Support Services.
The second panel delved deeper into the ability of the revised proposal to be able to accommodate the needs of vulnerable groups. More specifically, victims with an undocumented migrant status or refugee status, victims with disabilities and victims identifying as LGBTQIA+; all of whom are at heightened risk of victimisation but have lower rates of disclosure, not least due to the heightened rates of revictimisation by law enforcement.
Child helplines play a vital role for children and young people who are at risk of victimisation or who have been the victims of crimes. They are often the first point of contact children and young people have with support systems, and so play a key role both in the prevention, protection and detection of victimisation. Given their importance, it is vital that Child Helpline International continues to advocate for the rights of children to receive adequate support following victimisation, as well as for the protection of national helplines which play such a key role in keeping our children and young people safe.
On behalf of Child Helpline International, I’d like to thank Victim Support Europe for organising such an important and timely event, and I’m looking forward to continuing our partnership well into the future!