Introduction and definitions

R.M. Letschert, I. Staiger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The fight against terrorism is receiving increased attention due to recent worldwide large-scale terrorist acts. Long overdue, and at least since the terrorist attacks of 11 september 2001 in new york and washington, attention has also been directed to victims of terrorism. However, there is no international legally binding instrument that sufficiently and specifically covers the needs of victims of terrorism. The eu framework decision of 15 march 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings (2001/220/jha) includes victims of terrorism under the broader heading of victims of crime. The same situation regarding victims of terrorism exists at the level of the united nations.1 at the level of the council of europe, the committee of ministers adopted, on 2 march 2005, guidelines on the protection of victims of terrorist acts. These guidelines recognise that the suffering of victims of terrorist acts deserves national and international solidarity and support (the guidelines can be found in the appendix to chapter 2 in the present volume). In addition, a group of experts drafted a report on ‘victims of terrorism – policies and legislation in europe’2 that calls for the development of good practices regarding various issues concerning victims of terrorism, in view of the diversity of approaches in the council of europe member states. In sum, existing legal instruments of international bodies like the eu, the council of europe and the un dealing with victims of terrorism are relatively abstract or include victims of terrorism under the broader heading of victims of crime in general. In addition, on the national level of the eu member states, policies and legislation vary widely.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssisting victims of terrorism
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9789048130245
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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