On 12.07.2023 the Commission of the European Union published its proposals for an amendment of the Victim Rights Directive (RL 2012/29/EU). The directive standardizes fundamental rights for victims of crime, namely the right to information, the right to assistance and protection, certain procedural rights and the right to compensation.
The directive was revised after a revision in June 2022 identified essential gaps in protection. The Commission now proposes to strengthen the minimum standards by setting five specific targets, including:
1. victims have the information they need to be able to exercise their rights – thanks to the obligation on victims’ helpline,
2. victims’ needs for protection are met accordingly - via strengthened individual assessment of victims’ needs,
3. victims are better supported – via strengthened support for the most vulnerable victims, including children,
4. victims can more effectively participate in a criminal proceeding – with the right to assistance at court and to the right to legal remedies,
5. victims have more adequate access to compensation from the offender - thanks to improved state support in executing compensation from the offender.
Furthermore, victims of trafficking in human beings are to be given special consideration in the context of the individual assessment of victims to determine the specific need for assistance and protection (cf. Art. 22 (3) Directive 2012/29/EU; COM(2023) 424 final, p. 30).
The further legislative procedure provides that the present Commission proposal has to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.