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Victims of Terrorism: What the UN recommends

In this article we focus on the main 10 takeaways to understand how to improve the status, condition and involvement of victims of terrorism in the fight against terrorism and in the society.

WTC Memorial Plaza, National September 11 Memorial, Manhattan, New York, United States of America

Global level:

1. Special status to the victims: Accord victims of terrorism a special status, preferably through an international instrument that recognizes their needs and supports associations of victim of terrorism, ensuring and preventing the spread of violent extremism.

2. Share good practices: Develop good practices in supporting victims of terrorism in the criminal justice process and share them with States, regional, and international organisations.

3. Compensation mechanisms: Establish mechanisms for compensation and restitution to help victims of terrorism in the short, medium and long term, including access to basic social needs, employment, etc. Support should be provided to States who do not have fully functioning structures in place to establish appropriate reparation systems.

Regional level

4. New guidelines to involve victims: Develop guidelines to support victims of terrorism who wish to be part of the counternarrative to ensure that their safety and recovery are not undermined.

5. Reinforce counternarrative: Develop and strengthen, through training and capacity building assistance, the counternarrative messaging skills of victims and to develop effective long-term communication strategies in this area.

6. Research in collaboration with victims: Undertake research involving victims of terrorism, civil society groups, and NGOs that support victims of terrorism, to compile data on specific victims’ needs, especially taking into account women and victims of sexual violence by terrorist groups, and as a result develop proper policy recommendations.

7. Include victim's rights in CT policies: Recognize and mainstream victims’ rights into States’ counter-terrorism measures and ensure that all efforts and approaches of Member States to this effect remain centered on victims.

8. Provide guidelines to communities victims of terrorism: Develop and establish resource kits for communities impacted by terrorism and violent extremism that include information on how to deal with terrorist attacks and guidance on good practices to communities in order to establish resilient measures after a terrorist attack.

9. Protect the victims during trials: Provide all forms of protection (physical and psychological), by Member States to victims of terrorism and witnesses when testifying during trial proceedings.

10. Ensure independent trials: Ensure that investigations during trials are independent and effective with the full participation of victims of terrorism in all stages of the criminal justice process.


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