Most European countries have legal provisions for crime victims, in order to claim compensation or otherwise be compensated for material and immaterial damages. But even with the legal framework in place, enforcing these rights in practice is still difficult or impossible for victims of trafficking and other crimes. Experiences show that very few persons concerned have the information and resources to be granted compensation. Even fewer actually receive compensation payments.
For this reason, La Strada International, together with the KOK and other partner organizations, launched the Justice at Last project - European Action for Compensation of Victims of Crime. The aim of the project is to identify and analyze both the existing obstacles to the enforcement of compensation claims, as well as needs and best practices for overcoming these obstacles. Professionals should be provided with the knowledge and skills to help those affected enforcing their rights to compensation. In addition, awareness of professionals, policy-makers, counselors and victims of crime in Europe, for the most effective mechanisms for victim protection, as well as access to compensation should be increased.
Now, three working papers have been published: Legal Assessment: Compensation Practices, Paper Cooperation on access to compensation in cross border-context and Victim’s Needs Assessment. There is also a policy paper of the study.
Basis of the publications were inter alia queries and concrete case collections of - both successful and unsuccessful - decisions / judgments regarding compensation. The KOK as a project partner in Germany has supported the case collection, as well as the preparation of the publication. A total of ten cases and decisions from Germany were collected and taken into account. Furthermore, questionnaires on the respective situation in the partner countries, as well as on needs from a practical perspective, were evaluated and included. The next step is to launch a Europe-wide information campaign, which should raise awareness for the aim of the project and sensitize concerned persons for the right to compensation.
Lately, four videos were published on the Facebook Site of the project. They inform about the project and its aspects: