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Workshop on the protection of victims of terrorist acts

CoE: A workshop on the protection of victims of terrorist acts will be organised in Strasbourg by the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights. Its aim is to raise awareness of the Council of Europe Guidelines (2017) on the protection of victims of terrorism and to share good practices regarding their implementation at national level.

Elisabeth Pelsez, Interministerial Delegate for Victims’ Assistance of France, will participate in this workshop, organised within the framework of the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.

The Revised Guidelines were adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2017, 12 years after the adoption of the initial guidelines, as a response to all forms of terrorism. They are a practical tool to member States towards better protection of human rights. The text has 14 principles.

To begin with, States should have an appropriate legal and administrative framework for victims of terrorist acts, without any discrimination.

The effects of terrorism on the victims and their family members require national implementation of an efficient protection policy, financial assistance and compensation for victims, including the societal recognition of the suffering of victims alongside a duty to remember.

States should also ensure appropriate medical, psychological, social and material emergency assistance free of charge to victims, but also the continuing assistance.

They should set up contact points for victims, they must effectively investigate terrorist acts, provide effective access to the law and justice, as well as protect private/family life and dignity and security, in close co-operation with civil society.