Today 22 February marks European Day for Victims of Crime. Vice-President Jourová and Commissioner Reynders issued the following statement:
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the European Day for Victims of Crime. Still, every year 75 million people across Europe continue to fall victims of crime.
Only yesterday, we mourned the victims of yet another heinous act, this time in Hanau. Let us be very clear: racism and xenophobia have no place in Europe. We stand firm against all those who want to divide our societies through hate and violence.
Having suffered physical, mental trauma or both, victims of crime are often in need of a lot of support and care. Most importantly, they need protection and a safe environment to report the crime, without fear of retaliation from those that caused them harm in the first place.
The EU has robust victims’ rights in place. We make sure that victims of crime have the necessary support and protection. This is a major achievement, but, as the Union that strives for more, we should not stop there.
There are still too many victims whose rights are not equally guaranteed when a crime happens in an EU country other than their own. All EU citizens deserve equal rights regardless of where in the EU they fall victim to crime. We are currently working on a new strategy to ensure that this becomes a reality.”
The European Commission has taken a range of actions to fight violence and help victims of crime:
- The Victims’ Rights Directive lays down a clear set of rights for victims of crime, and obligations for EU Member States to ensure these rights in practice.
- For certain groups of victims, the EU adopted specific rules. These rules build on the Victims’ Rights Directive but respond more directly to the specific needs of some victims, including victims of human trafficking, child victims of sexual exploitation and child pornography, and victims of terrorism.
- The EU has also put in place legislation that facilitates access to compensation in situations where the crime was committed in an EU country other than the victim’s country of residence.
The Commission, is now working on a new Strategy for Victims’ Rights for 2020-2024 to be presented in June 2020/before the summer 2020. The strategy will focus on empowering victims, strengthening cooperation and coordination between national authorities, improving protection and support to victims and facilitating access to compensation.