Victim Support Finland – activities on Terrorism directive and Nordic cooperation

6 Oct, 2017
Victim Support Finland participates in the implementation process of the Terrorism directive

A working group preparing the national implementation of the Terrorism directive organized a hearing where also Victim Support Finland was invited to give its opinion on how articles 24-26 on victims’ rights should be implemented. Later on VS Finland was also able to comment a written draft of the working groups’s report concerning these articles. The main message form VS Finland was to make sure that victims of terrorism are referred to victim services and that preparedness planning for terrorist attacks includes the role and tasks of victim support organisations. Referrals should not only include the police but also other actors such as the health care and social welfare services and the embassies. Also the situation of foreign victims and their right to information and services was raised up in the hearing.

Nordic victim services met in Oslo

Members from four Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – met in Oslo on 3-4 October to discuss national developments, good practices and cooperation of victim services in the Nordic countries. Even if the societies in these countries are quite similar, victim services differ from each other. In Denmark the services are largely based on volunteering run by Victim Support Denmark. In Norway the services are fun by the state and the system is currently being changed so that the service centres will be situated in the Police districts. In Finland and Sweden victim services are NGO based with a strong focus on volunteering but also a clear structure for paid staff. Victim Support Finland and Victim Support Sweden have been able to grow their capacity in recent years due to political support for victim services and the implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive. Both organisations are, however, worried about the situation of police referrals and advocate for a more systematic referrals system.