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New Strategy Aims to Enhance Support for Crime Victims in Portugal

29 March 2024 

In a significant step towards prioritising the rights and needs of crime victims, Portugal unveiled the National Strategy for the Rights of Victims of Crime (NSVC) on January 5th, 2024.

Embracing the theme of “listening to victims,” the NSVC represents a pioneering initiative aligned with international standards in the field. It encompasses a diverse range of objectives and measures aimed at enhancing the situation of crime victims across the country.

The strategy adopts a holistic approach, targeting various aspects including legislation, procedural development, knowledge advancement, capacity building, and practical interventions. These efforts are geared towards improving how both professionals and society as a whole address the rights and needs of crime victims.

The NSVC comprises six key pillars:

  1. Prevention and Awareness: Focused on raising awareness about crime and victimisation.
  2. Access to Justice: Ensuring information and accessibility to justice for victims.
  3. Support Services: Facilitating access to victim support services.
  4. Victims’ Participation: Enhancing victims’ participation in criminal proceedings.
  5. Organizational Culture: Integrating the victim perspective into organisational culture.
  6. Knowledge and Evaluation: Prioritising research, funding, monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms.

The development of NSVC was led by a collaborative working group, spearheaded by the Ministry of Justice and including representatives from various government sectors such as internal affairs, finance, education, and social solidarity. Additionally, key stakeholders from organisations specialising in victim support and research, such as the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV), and academic institutions, were actively involved in crafting the strategy.

The NSVC underscores Portugal’s commitment to improving the support and protection offered to victims of crime, signaling a concerted effort towards a more compassionate and victim-centered approach within the country’s legal and social framework.

Access the National Strategy for the Rights of Victims of Crime (NSVC) here.

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