Article 12 – Measures to remove barriers to accessing victims’ rights

Article 12 – Measures to remove barriers to accessing victims’ rights

1) victims who are in detention including jails, detention centres and holding cells for suspects and accused, those in specialised detention facilities for applicants of international protection and pre-removal centres or in other institutions, including accommodation centers where applicants and beneficiaries of international protection are located:

a) receive the information about their rights;
b) can rely on facilitated crime reporting;
c) have access to support and protection in accordance with their individual needs;

Member States shall take the necessary measures to remove barriers that victims face when seeking support, reporting a crime, receiving information about their rights or accessing protection. Such measures should be addressed to all victims and may also be targeted to address victims in particular situations such as those deprived of liberty, under the coercion or control of others, or whose personal characteristics or circumstances reduce their ability to access rights.

COMMENTARY – Article 12

The European Commission introduced additional safeguards for people in detention facilities, namely in new article on reporting of crime (art. 5a, §3 of proposal) and the new article on protocols through national coordination and cooperation (art. 26, §1b of proposal).

VSE agrees that people in detention facilities may be particularly vulnerable and in need of specific assistance with regard to information about their rights, to facilitated reporting and to support and protection.

VSE is concerned about the focus only on people in detention facilities, which does not take into account all persons deprived of liberty, which includes persons in mental health and social care institutions, children in orphanages and aged persons in retirement or care homes. The proposal also ignores the situation of other victims who are controlled by others, or have significant barriers to accessing their rights.

VSE’s proposal seeks to ensure a better coverage of all the above mentioned vulnerable groups.