2019 could be found as an important year for the protection of crime victim’s rights. The Providers of Help to Crime Victims Platform (“The Platform”) was established this year.
What is The Platform?
The Platform is an informal group of national non-governmental and non-profit organizations providing mainly legal and social support to victims of crime. These organizations provide free services in different areas of social assistance, for example: domestic violence, sexual violence, hate crime, supporting families in times of crisis, supporting people with HIV, human trafficking and exploitation, Roma integration, Probation and Mediation Services and many other related social services. ProFem is one of the founding members.
The purpose of The Platform
The Platform focuses on sharing experience among members and on mutual support. For The Platform it is important to find effective instruments to help victims and to identify the general problems is equally necessary. These problems should be discussed with relevant institutions. The status of victims and the standard of their rights has to be improved.
The activities of The Platform
There were two conferences organized by the Platform during the year 2019 which took place in The Ministry of Justice. The output of these meetings was for example a public statement of The Platform about victims‘ rights. Requirements on the legislative changes were defined too. Other discussed topics were secondary victimization (victims should be protected from secondary and repeated victimization) or implementation of DIRECTIVE 2012/29/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA in the Czech Republic.
The change of law
The Platform helped to make important legislative changes in the crime victims‘ rights law, which became effective this year.
The definition of victims who are particularly vulnerable was expanded – this was a significant change. Some changes were made also in the criminal proceeding. All competent authorities operating within the context of the criminal proceedings should use a sensitive approach. For example they have to fulfill the victims requirement not to meet the offender during the criminal proceeding. Also the victims can choose the sex of their interrogating person.
We can hope that The Platform‘s activities will continue and bring other important changes for crime victims‘ rights protection.