Working Group on Supporting and Highlighting Victims of Terrorism
United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:
Section I, paragraph 8: “To consider putting in place, on a voluntary basis, national systems of assistance that would promote the needs of victims of terrorism and their families and facilitate the normalization of their lives. In this regard, we encourage States to request the relevant United Nations entities to help them to develop such national systems. We will also strive to promote international solidarity in support of victims and foster the involvement of civil society in a global campaign against terrorism and for its condemnation. This could include exploring at the General Assembly the possibility of developing practical mechanisms assistance to victims.”
Section IV: “We resolve to undertake the following measures, reaffirming that the promotion and protection of human rights for all and the rule of law is essential to all components of the Strategy... and stressing the need to promote and protect the rights of victims of terrorism.”
As a first concrete step to assist Member States in supporting victims of terrorism, the Secretary-General convened a Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism on 9 September 2008. The Symposium brought together victims, experts, and representatives of Member States, regional organizations, civil society and the media. The purpose of the Symposium was to give victims a human face and an identity, to provide a forum for discussing concrete steps to assist victims in coping with their experiences, to share best practices and to highlight measures already taken by Member States and non-governmental organizations to support and empower victims.
Following the Symposium, a report summarizing the key themes discussed at the Symposium and presenting a set of recommendations made by the participants was produced. In addition, a short video with clips from the Symposium was made.
Following up on the recommendations contained in the report, the working group plans to: 1) develop a virtual platform or web portal that can be used as a forum for victims, experts, government officials, service providers and civil society to share information, resources and best practices on supporting victims of terrorism. 2) develop a study/guide of best practices for providing financial support to victims of terrorism, based on existing national practices; 3) partner with the Center on Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and the Global Survivors Network on a series of projects on supporting victims.
In December 2010, the CTITF and the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) co-organized a workshop on a study of best practices on supporting victims of terrorist crimes and related offences as defined in the national and international law in ISISC, Siracusa, Italy. A report has been drafted regarding this study.
In June 2011 CTITF in collaboration with the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation convened a four-day media training workshop for 10 victims of terrorism. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the ability of participants to build communications campaigns, interact with the media and reinforce their understanding of the media in order to be better prepared to communicate about their experiences.
In 2012 a panel discussion on the rights of victims of terrorism was held.
- Executive Office of The Secretary-General (EOSG) (lead)
- Department of Political Affairs (DPA)
- Department of Public Information (DPI)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Special Rapporteur on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights While Countering Terrorism
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)