EU to boost up laws to give full justice to victims of crime

Author: Caroline Rhawi




Around 75 million people in Europe fall victim to crime every year. Today the European Parliament announced its position on the revision of the Victims’ Rights Directive, which aims to update the minimum rules to guarantee that these victims receive the support and protection they need as well as full access to justice, regardless of where they are in the EU.

Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Spain), rapporteur in the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, said:

“This revision was necessary and we are very satisfied with the position approved today by the European Parliament as it achieves our main objectives: improving the protection and support for victims of crime throughout the European Union and strengthening the victims-centred approach of this Directive. We are also aiming to facilitate victims’ access to their rights, including compensation and free legal aid, and increase trust in justice systems throughout the European Union. We will defend our position during the trilogue negotiations to achieve the best possible outcome for the millions of victims of crime in the European Union”

The report includes, amongst other things, an enhanced right for victims to receive information about their case, measure to allow them to fully be able to participate in the proceedings and stronger provision on the right to free legal aid, especially for people without sufficient means, those with specific protection needs, and victims of gender based-violence, human trafficking and minors.

Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (Slovakia), shadow in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, emphasised:

“The revision of this Directive has been long overdue. Victims continue to face many challenges, such as a lack of protection or support services, lack of information on their rights or difficult access to legal aid. I am very happy that we are finally making a step towards improving the lives of all victims of crime across the EU, but we have to make sure that these improvements will be translated into practice and this is what the European parliament will be defending in the negotiations with the Council. The society cannot prosper if we do not protect the most vulnerable.”

Renew Europe pushed for making it easier for victims to report crimes committed in detention facilities and other closed settings, reinforce the right to avoid contact with the offender, and ensure that children's and persons with disabilities needs are respected during criminal investigations and proceedings.


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