To the break barriers faced by victims with disabilities, EDF calls for the adoption of an ambitious and inclusive EU strategy on victims’ rights (2020-2024). We welcome the commitment of the European Commission to protect the rights of victims in the European Union (EU) and its proposal for an EU Strategy on victims’ rights for 2020-2024, which in order to be effective must:
- Ensure participation of civil society in its design, implementation and monitoring, including victim support organisations and organisations of groups over-represented in victim groups, such as organisations of persons with disabilities, including those of women with disabilities.
- Strengthen its legal basis by referring and aligning with the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) and other key international instruments.
- Prioritise implementation and evaluation of relevant EU laws, including by developing key tools for implementation and regular evaluation mechanisms.
The Strategy should also include specific provisions to ensure the rights of victims with disabilities, as a specific group of victims. In particular, it should look at:
- Ensuring identification of victims with disabilities, including victims of violence living in closed settings
- Providing adequate and accessible services to victims with disabilities
- Ensuring active participation of victims with disabilities at all stages of the criminal proceeding
- Guaranteeing accessible information and communication prior, during and after criminal proceedings
- Training practitioners on the rights of the most marginalised victims
- Sanctioning violation of victims’ rights
- Collecting disaggregated data and conducting research on victims