European parliamentary vote to protect victims of crime

In September 2012, the European Parliament voted to protect victims of crime – including rape, harassment, hate crime and trafficking – across the EU.

All crime victims will have the same basic rights across the EU, including an assessment of their specific needs, under a directive endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. Free support services, such as psychological help, will be provided for victims, who will have the right to be questioned by police and heard in court in a language they understand. Some 75 million people suffer from crimes in the EU each year.

Victims of crimes committed abroad may face serious problems due to differences between cultures, languages and laws. The agreed text, adopted by 611 votes to 9, with 13 abstentions, aims to ensure that whatever the crime – mugging, robbery, assault, rape, harassment, hate crime, terrorist attack, or human trafficking – and wherever it is committed in the EU, all victims enjoy the same basic rights in criminal proceedings, are treated with respect and dignity and have access to victim-support services, justice and compensation.

Click here for details on the European Parliament website

Click here for text of directive

Click here for report on the BBC website