VSE’s advocacy is not limited to the EU Member States but is global in its attitude.
International Networks & Engagement
VSE closely cooperates with the United Nations, in particular with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism, to promote the rights of all victims and support policies related to victims of terrorism.
VSE played an active role in the development of the UN Model Legislative Provisions To Support The Needs And Protect The Rights Of Victims Of Terrorism and supported the revision of the UN’s manual on the Implementation of the Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.
VSE also participates in experts groups within the UNOCT. VSE supported the development of the manual of good practices on supporting victims of terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, and a similar manual for Asia.
In addition, VSE collaborates with Jane Connors, the United Nations Victims’ Rights Advocate.
2018 marked the establishment of Victim Support Asia, which brings together support organisations from around the continent. While the original intention to establish an international support organisation – VOCI – foundered in 2017, lessons were learned, and VSE encouraged the creation of Victim Support Asia, led by our long time partner – Korean Crime Victim Support.
Following much discussion, and the appointment of Frida Wheldon as Development Director, the organisation was legally registered and now has 12 members. Its first conference took place in March 2019 in South Korea, with VSE providing operational support.
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. Built on trust and confidentiality, the group grew as a platform for sharing knowledge and information until becoming a forum for experts from around the world to leverage new information and expertise for use in their own countries. 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.
VSE 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.
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.