On 23 February, VSE’s Executive Director Levent Altan participated in the Plenary meeting of the Victims’ Rights Platform. The new Victims’ Rights Platform – an important deliverable of the European Commission, following the adoption of the first EU Strategy on Victims’ Rights earlier in 2020. The new platform, which meets annually and on an ad-hoc basis, serves as an important forum for discussions on victims’ rights with all relevant actors. These include the European Network on Victims’ Rights, the EU Network of national contact points for compensation, the EU Counter–Terrorism Coordinator, Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and civil society.
Among the topics discussed at the meeting are the state of play of the implementation of the Victims’ Rights Strategy, priorities of the Portuguese Presidency in relation to victims’ rights, victims’ rights and security, state of play of the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse and Security Agenda and improving victims’ access to justice.
Civil society organisations had a chance to have a say in what they want to achieve through the Platform. Speaking at the meeting, Levent Altan both endorsed the initiative and encouraged the Commission to conduct proper consultation of NGOs in the Victims’ Rights Directive’s evaluation, to develop minimum standards for physical protection (European Protection Order), to establish and fund 116 006 helplines to operate in all EU Member States, to expand the training of police forces and all professionals coming in contact with victims, and to develop funding streams for victim support organisations to enable them to play a more effective role in the advancement of victims’ rights.