Last 24 June the European Commission unveiled the first ever EU Strategy on Victims’ Rights for the 2020-2025 period. Victims of crime still experience serious challenges in reporting their situations and seeking protection, this is therefore a much welcome development. In particular, it should ensure a full implementation of the 2012 EU Directive on Victims’ Rights, which, almost 5 years after the deadline, no member state has fully implemented.
Supporting older victims and survivors
Over the past years, we have been calling on the EU to make sure the realities and needs of older victims and survivors are taken into account with targeted measures in the implementation of the Directive. Our 2017 position paper on the Directive, as well as a workshop organised jointly with the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions and Victim Support Europe, revealed the potential of EU action to address gaps in the protection and empowerment of older victims.
The EU Strategy identifies explicitly older people as one of the groups in need of specific measures to improve reporting levels and access to victim support and protection mechanisms. This positive step should help address challenges such as the fact that older people are more likely to be taken less seriously by police and law enforcement. Measures should include making older persons more visible in public campaining on the rights of victims and training services to support older people and understand their specific challenges, in particular regarding elder abuse in the care context. The Strategy should include funding for projects that address the realities of older people, lifting co-funding requisites that have too often been a barrier to the involvement of valuable stakeholders.
AGE passed on these and other messages at a webinar, last 7 July, organised by the member of the European Parliament Saskia Bricmont jointly with Victim Support Europe. AGE was invited to share views on the realities of older victims, together with other non discrimination civil society organisations, which included ENAR, PICUM, EDF and ILGA working respectiviely on the issues of racism, migration, disability and sexual orientation.
In 2021, the European Commission will launch an EU campaign on victims rights and will put in place an EU platform with different stakeholders, among other actions to make sure the strategy is implemented. AGE looks forward to these and other measures and will actively bring in the realities of older victims and survivors.
For more information you may contact Borja Arrue, Project and Policy Officer responsable for long-term care and elder abuse, firstname.lastname@example.org