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Government Support: Spain
Government Assistance to Victims
Spain has a terrorism victim assistance unit, the Directorate- General of Support for Victims of Terrorism, that includes, for example, personnel with special training in the following areas: psycho-social (social workers), medical ( the Medical Advisory Board), and financial process experts, among others.
a) Social workers contact victims as soon as security and medical condition allow after a terrorist attack and provide information to victims and the families. Information is conveyed to victims and their families clearly and accurately. Also, they attend people to manage their compensations, pensions, labour rights, subsidies and other benefits.
b) The Medical Advisory Board: in order to categorize the injuries, evaluate the permanent consequences of the damages: disabilities, permanent non- disabling injuries or psychological damages.
c) Financial process experts: the procedure for recognizing entitlement to compensation for damage is processed and resolved by the Ministry of the interior.- The maximum period for resolving the procedure is 12 months.
There is a coordinate official network that involves victim assistance unit, courts, health professionals and victims’ organizations
Legal Resources available to Victims
In Spain, victims of terrorism receive support to facilitate their recovery through the whole criminal proceeding. In addition to protecting victims’ physical security, psychologists prevent emotional harm to victims during criminal justice proceedings with a previous training .
Besides, social workers from the Ministry of the Interior are present in court during the proceeding, supporting victims and families. They provide an important service to victims by giving them general information about the criminal justice process and specific information about the particular case.
Interpretation services are provided too.
Legal aid is provided free of cost for victims and is granted by law.
The Ministry of Justice has created an Office of Information and Assistance to Victims of Terrorism at the Audiencia Nacional.
Collaboration with other Organisations
The Spanish Government collaborates with associations, foundations and not- for-profit entities whose object is the representation and defense of interests of victims of terrorism. The Ministry of the Interior also grants subsidies to them to promote their creation and maintenance.
The formal presence and social recognition of victims of terrorism is highlighted in all institutional acts promoted by associations and foundations.
Every 27 June has been declared a day of remembrance and homage to victims of terrorism and every 11 March, the European Day in Remembrance of Victims of terrorism is commemorated. On both days, The Government promotes acts of recognition of the victims of terrorism in coordination with associations, foundations and not- for-profit entities.
Regional and multi-lateral effort(s) to address solidarity with victims of terrorism and support the rehabilitation of victims of terrorism
- International Conference on Victims of Terrorism, organized by Spain in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the OAS, San Sebastian (Spain), June 2011.
- High-Level Conference on Victims of Terrorism within the framework of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Madrid, July 2012. It approved the Madrid Declaration on Victims of Terrorism, as well as an Action Plan including measures to promote the role that victims of terrorism can play in combating violent extremism and in delegitimizing terrorism. In September 2013, the GCTF Ministerial Plenary approved the Madrid Memorandum on Good Practices for Assistance to Victims of Terrorism Immediately after the Attack and in Criminal Proceedings, based on a document proposed by Spain.
- Training courses on providing assistance to victims of terrorism, aimed at experts and officials from different Latin American public administrations.
- Annual financial support, from its inception, for the CTITF's (United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy's Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force) Working Group on Supporting and Highlighting Victims of Terrorism. Spain promoted the reference to victims of terrorism in the text of the Strategy (approved by the UN General Assembly in 2006), as well as the UN Secretary-General's convening of the First Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism, held in New York on 9 September 2008. Spain participated actively in the Seminar on best practices for supporting victims of terrorist crimes, organised by the CTITF in Siracusa (Italy) in November 2010.
- Promoting a reference to a future international fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts and their families in UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004).
- Dissemination of the photo exhibition "100 Reflections Out of Sorrow”, with different official promotional events at the UN in New York and Geneva, the Organization of American States in Washington, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France (in 2010-2015), in collaboration with the Miguel Ángel Blanco Foundation of Victims of Terrorism.
- Spain regularly seeks the inclusion of defending and promoting the rights of victims of terrorism in all the relevant drafts of UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council Resolutions, as well as in the actions of the European Union and the Council of Europe. Spain supports the creation of a legally-binding international Statute on the rights of victims of terrorism in the framework of the initiatives proposed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
- In June 2013, the European Union's RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network) held a Seminar in Madrid on the educational role of victims of terrorism in schools.
Civil Society effort(s) to address solidarity with victims of terrorism and support the rehabilitation of victims of terrorism
The Foundation of Victims of Terrorism that collaborates with the majority of associations, foundations and not- for-profit entities whose object is the representation and defense of interests of victims of terrorism.
Its goals are to promote the state of law, freedom and the defense of the human rights.
The Foundation helps victims and families in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and support projects to improve the situation of victims.
It also grants subsidies for associations and foundations to develop programs for victims.
Finally, it plays a good role in order to preserve memory and dignity for victims of terrorism and families.