Commemorating Victims of Terrorism

 

Today marks the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism. Every year on 11 March, we come together to show our solidarity, to demonstrate that victims are neither forgotten nor alone.

This year, Victim Support Europe would like to reflect on the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism (EUCVT), a project that was completed in December 2021.

The EUCVT was a pilot project initiated by DG-Justice in January 2020 and was run by a consortium led by Victim Support Europe, with the participation of ARQ (Dutch national psycho-trauma centre), AfVT (French association of victims of terrorism), and Fondation Lenval.

The aim of the project was to raise the awareness of EU stakeholders, in all Member States, on the rights and needs of victims of terrorism as well as to build a network of experts in the field of victimisation resulting from terrorism.

Since its inception, the Centre has brought together, from across the EU, law enforcement agents, members of the judiciary, governmental experts, victim compensation authorities, victim support organisations, first responders and other professionals, whose expertise focuses on the issues of terrorist victimisation. These experts met and worked collaboratively through the general experts’ Hub. Simultaneously, recognising that the trauma experienced by victims is an important after-effect of terrorist victimisation, the Centre also assembled EU psycho-trauma experts, who gathered in the EUCVT Hub of Expertise.

We can now proudly report that with the help of all stakeholders, and the dedication of the project team, and with support from the DG-Justice victims’ rights team, the Centre:

  • increased the knowledge of EU professionals about the impact of terrorism on its victims.
  • delivered one EU Handbook on the rights of victims of terrorism (in all EU languages), an Annex on victims’ needs (in English only), and 26 national handbooks in English and respective national languages. These instruments remain available to experts across the EU; their content has captured sufficient knowledge and understanding of these issues for others, including the general public, to learn from.
  • trained over 1000 professionals, across the EU, on the needs of victims, their rights and how to provide an appropriate response to terrorist victimisation.
  • raised awareness of professionals, across Europe, of the impact terrorism has on victims and the appropriate response to terrorist victimisation.

In addition, the Centre also

  • provided communication tools that can be used to safely share victims’ information in cross-border situations;
  • created an online platform/hub for knowledge exchange; over 200 experts used the hub to engage with each other;
  • animated almost a dozen webinars and other live discussions;
  • published numerous articles, blog posts and dynamic group discussions on a number of selected topics related to victims of terrorism in the EU.

On 13 December 2021, the final conference marked the end of this two-year pilot project. This event allowed all those who contributed – participants and stakeholders – to celebrate the Centre’s achievements and success.

Please find more information on the project here.