Madrid, 25 September – Levent Altan, the Executive Director of Victim Support Europe (VSE), took part in the international seminar on victims of terrorism. The event, held in conjunction with Spain’s Presidency of the EU, focused on formulating proposals to enhance protection of victims of terrorism across the EU.
Altan shared insights into the current initiatives undertaken by Victim Support Europe to advance support for victims of terrorism. He highlighted VSE’s cross-border referral network and initiatives, such as the International Network Supporting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence (INVICTM), and VSE’s Terrorism Response Network.
The discussions delved into strengthening European structures for victim protection, reinforcing their rights at the EU level, and endorsing memory policies and victim testimonies in the prevention of radicalization.
Representing the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism (EU CVT), Aleksandra Ivankovic contributed significantly to the discussions, emphasizing the importance of building expertise on terrorism issues and providing support across EU countries.
VSE TERRORISM RESPONSE NETWORK
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, and a series of further attacks in Europe and beyond, Victim Support Europe has acted together with its members to help ensure victims are offered the support they need and that governments and international institutions understand better their needs and best response. Since 2015, VSE, through its Terrorism Response Network, has provided varying levels of response to more than 20 attacks across Europe and the world including attacks in France, Germany, Spain, UK, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Turkey, USA, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. VSE responds to large scale attacks in Europe or outside of Europe where European citizens are likely to be involved.
INVICTM – INTERNATIONAL NETWORK SUPPORTING VICTIMS OF TERRORISM AND MASS VIOLENCE
In 2016, the International Framework of Dialogue and Information Sharing (IFDIS) was created, bringing together a group of trusted experts dedicated to improving support for victims of terrorism. Without a formal structure or legal entity, the group dedicated their time and shared good practices and lessons learned, with the goal of enhancing support to victims of terrorism by furthering knowledge about terrorism victim needs. The group includes NGOs, law enforcement agencies, civil society members and other experts that provide information based upon their background, country and professional perspective. FDIS combines monthly phone calls facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experiences, with a swift and reactive network that helps partners respond to attacks or urgent questions. In July 2016, IFDIS changed its name to International Network Supporting Victims
of Terrorism and Mass Violence (INVICTM). The name change reflects the expanding network, mission and activities of INVICTM, which brings together experts from around the world to improve support for victims of terrorism and mass violence.
Victim Support Europe is one of the founding members of INVICTM and keeps an active role in its activities, including by supporting the organisation of INVICTM’s annual symposium.
The EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism (EU CVT)
The EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism (EU CVT) is set up and run by the European Commission to offer expertise, guidance and support to national authorities and victim support organisations. The Centre helps to ensure that national structures offer professional assistance and support to victims of terrorism in every EU country. It further promotes exchange of best practices and sharing of expertise among practitioners and specialists across borders.
More on: https://eucvt.eu/about-us/