Developing standards for assistance to victims of terrorism
The European Forum for Restorative Justice was awarded a project by the European Commission on “Developing standards for assistance to victims of terrorism” as part of the preparatory action for the victims of terrorist acts programme, which ran from 1 March 2007 until 30 June 2008.
The partners involved were the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT), the Catholic University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven), the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, and Victim Support Netherlands. Victim Support Netherlands currently holds the chair of Victim Support Europe.
The heightened awareness and consequences of terrorism for victims of terrorist acts has led to the inclusion of their needs in a number of international legal instruments of international bodies like the EU, the Council of Europe and the UN. However, these instruments are relatively abstract or include victims of terrorism under the broader heading of victims of crime in general. This is why the European Commission launched a preparatory action to support projects in favour of victims of terrorist acts and to promote the European dimension of support actions in favour of victims.
The project focused particularly on developing standards in the field of continuing assistance, access to justice, administration of justice and compensation to victims of terrorism. Moreover, the possible role of restorative justice principles and practices in dealing with victims of terrorism was assessed. The overall goal of the project was for the standards to serve as a basis for the further development of services for victims of terrorism in Europe.
A draft of standards was developed in two seminars on the basis of a literature review undertaken by researchers at the K.U. Leuven and INTERVICT, supported by the steering committee of experts of the partners involved in the project. The seminars took place in Leuven, Belgium, in November 2007 and were organised by the European Forum for Restorative Justice and the K.U. Leuven. The first seminar was attended by policy makers and practitioners, and the second seminar by academic experts.
The final event of the project was a conference on victims of terrorism, where the draft standards and the results of the literature review were presented to a broader public. The conference took place in Tilburg, the Netherlands, on 10 to 11 March 2008 and was organised by INTERVICT. Both the seminar and conference results serves as a basis for the finalisation of the standards and the literature report that was presented to the European Commission at the end of the project.
The literature report that resulted from this project will be published soon. However, here you can download following documents resulting from the project: the executive summary of the literature review, the proposal for an EU Recommendation and the Tilburg Declaration on the draft EU Recommendation.
Seminars on developing standards for assistance to victims of terrorism
A first draft of standards was developed in two seminars taken place at the K.U. Leuven, in which academic experts, practitioners and policy makers involved in the assistance to victims of terrorism participated. The draft standards were developed on the basis of a draft literature review, undertaken by researchers at the K.U. Leuven and INTERVICT, and supported by a steering committee of experts of the partners involved in the project. The results of the seminar are the basis for the finalisation of the draft standards and the literature report.
If you wish to obtain further information about the project, please contact the Secretariat .
With financial support from the VICT Programme
European Commission – Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security