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Ref. DC 072(2017)

19.05.2017

“Terror victims must not be forgotten”

Governments need to do more to support victims of terrorist attacks

The foreign affairs ministers of the Council of Europe member states adopted today in Nicosia (Cyprus) new guidelines to improve the support, information and compensation provided to victims of terrorist attacks in its 47 member states.

Emergency assistance, continuing medical, psychological, social and material help, all free of charge, and also the setting up of information contact points for victims, effective access to the law and to justice and appropriate and timely compensation are among the measures set out in the guidelines following consultation with victims and associations defending their rights.

The Council of Europe reiterates the need for governments to have an appropriate legal and administrative framework in place to enable victims to benefit from these measures, without discrimination and irrespective of whether the perpetrator of the terrorist act has been identified, arrested or prosecuted.

“The threat of terrorist attacks in Europe remains acute, but victims are not always getting the care and attention they need. It is for the state to reach out to victims of terrorist acts, not the other way around. Governments need to do more to make sure that victims of terrorism are not forgotten and to help them benefit from assistance and compensation,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

The guidelines also emphasise the importance of protecting victims’ private and family lives and ensuring societal recognition and remembrance of victims.

The Council of Europe has a range of legal tools for preventing and combating terrorism: the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (1977, updated in 2003), the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism and a Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (2005) and the Additional Protocol on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (2015). A three-year action plan on the fight against violent extremism and radicalisation, in particular in schools, prisons and on the internet, was also launched in May 2015.

Further information

Contacts :

Daniel Höltgen, Spokesperson of the Secretary General, mobile +33 6 68 29 87 51

Can Fisek, Spokesperson/Press officer, tel. + 33 3 88 41 30 41