Skip to main content

Call for Contributions: Side Events at the 2023 VSE Annual Conference

By October 17, 2022November 10th, 2022Conferences, News, Top Story

The Call for Contributions for VSE’s Annual Conference Side Events is now open. The deadline for submitting your proposal is 15 November 2022.

This year’s conference is entitled “Protecting Fundamental Freedoms, A victim’s perspective”. We will bring together VSE members, partners and stakeholders to reflect upon the role of victim support, law enforcement, academia, media, health and private sectors in guaranteeing the promotion and respect of victims’ rights, democracy and safeguarding the rule of law.

With this in mind, Day one will see us explore crimes against democracy, issues related to changing crime situations: struggles of stakeholders to catch up with the challenges of new crimes. Day two will be built around the theme of ‘Victimology in a policing context’ and oriented towards practitioners from law enforcement to discuss the challenges of balancing between respecting fundamental rights and having strong security. On Day three hear about supporting vulnerable and conflict-affected populations by participating in specialised sessions relevant for victim support professionals and affiliated experts.

We are inviting inspiring and inspired speakers to contribute to our conference by conducting a side event:

  • A 1-1,5 hour workshop/presentation/educative game/masterclass + 30 min for Q&A – which, depending on the subject could be conducted by one presenter or split between two or three speakers

We welcome interactive and creative working methods. For example:

  • Debating session,
  • Short training or instruction sessions (introducing skills or tools),
  • Educative games or simulations (roleplaying, quiz, association cards),
  • Short movie/documentary presentation,
  • Casuistic session (discussion of relevant issues using real life cases or victims’ stories).



As in previous years, we will continue to focus on all victims of crimes. However, acknowledging the many particular issues in this field, we will also have a specific focus on:

  • victims of gender-based violence;
  • victims of war crimes;
  • victims of hate crimes;
  • migrants as victims;
  • vulnerable groups (LGBTI+, Roma victims of trafficking, women and children of violence, elderly victims of cyber-crimes, socioeconomically disadvantaged victims of crime)
  • politicians, media professionals and journalists who have been the victims of reprisal;
  • victimology in a policing context;
  • unreported crime and safe justice.

We invite professionals working in the field of rights and services for victims of crime to submit proposals for a side event.

In our workshops we want to discuss some of the pressing topics for victims, victim support professionals and practitioners in Europe and beyond. Here are our proposed 5 topics for the side events:

1. Fundamental freedoms and the future of Europe’s victim support

  • The role of religious organisations in victims’ recovery
  • The role of youth in victim support
  • Content moderation & freedom of expression in times of disinformation – a victim’s perspective
  • Helping politicians, media professionals and journalists who have been the victims of reprisal

2. Victimology in a policing context

  • Good practices for the protection of witnesses in criminal proceedings
  • Protection Measures for Victims of Crime and Human Rights Violations
  • College of policing – victim needs assessment
  • First point of contact at the police: Guidelines on Approaching Victims of Crime

3. Practical frontline help to conflict-affected populations

In this theme, we are interested in side events that will present the practices of how organisations develop effective support services in a comprehensive and strategic manner, based on rights, driven by needs and established within the framework of the broader victim response system. The workshops will emphasise the way the support services are interconnected with wider social systems, signifying that first agencies of contact within this wider system (education, consulates, medical facilities and social services) make up part of a comprehensive national victim support framework. Only through such a comprehensive victim support system can we aim to maximise restitution and recovery.

  • How do organisations successfully make victim support services effective?
  • How to ensure that support services are available for victims and that equal access to services is provided to victims in an entire country?
  • How to make sure that victim support services are recognised by the state, the justice system or justice professionals?
  • How are specific needs of victims accounted for in the development and the provision of services?

4. Practical frontline help to specific groups of victims

In this theme, we feature experts sharing their knowledge and experience in supporting specific groups of victims.

  • victims of gender-based violence;
  • victims of war crimes;
  • victims of hate crimes;
  • migrants as victims;
  • vulnerable groups (e.g. LGBTI+, Roma as victims of trafficking, women and children as victims of violence, elderly victims of cyber-crimes, socioeconomically disadvantaged victims of crime)
  • politicians, media professionals and journalists who have been the victims of reprisal.

5. Unreported Crime and Safe Justice

This side event will focus on how to organise your criminal proceedings to fit the needs of victims, as criminal justice systems are more focused on offenders and society than victims. It will also elaborate on how to improve the ability to record and collect crime data as well as on how to help victims to report crimes or to reach out to support services.

  • What are the mechanisms to report a crime?
  • How can we remove or limit barriers to reporting crime and reaching services?
  • What are the best practices for supporting victims in the criminal justice system: at the initial reporting stage, at the investigation and prosecution stages, at the trial stage, at the sentencing stage, at the parole stage?
  • How could the criminal justice system improve the way victims are treated, from the standpoint of victims’ reception and their participation to the trial?
  • How to ensure victims are informed throughout the proceedings?
  • What measures can be adopted to guarantee victims representation during trial?
  • Hate crime as part of fundamental freedoms: reporting hate crimes


Procedure and Deadline

Side event proposals can be submitted by filling out this online form.

– -> APPLY NOW <- –


Submissions close on 1 December 2022 midnight CET.


While we appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm of all the candidates, please, note that we usually receive more requests for presentations than we can realistically accommodate into our conference programme. To make sure that the programme is presenting a balanced content the Programme Committee will review the proposals using the following criteria:

  • Conformity with the overall theme and focus of the VSE conference,
  • Interactivity and creativity of the proposed workshop format or working method,
  • Equal representation of all the topics in the programme.

Attention: Please, feel free to propose your own topic of the side event that resonates with the main conference theme.

We will aim to complete selection and inform all candidates about the outcome of their submission by 15 December 2022. The final side events programme will be published on the conference website after all submitters are informed.

If you have any questions, please contact

Close Menu