Supporting Victims of Acts of Terrorism

Since the 1970's, the international community has made increasing efforts to revitalize the role of victims of acts of terrorism in the criminal justice system and to mobilize governmental sectors and civil society in grating specific rights and affording comprehensive support to victims and their families.  In the area of assistance to victims of terrorism, there are three main areas:  support and assistance to victims of terrorism; the role of victims before, during and after legal proceedings; and the role of victims in countering the appeal of terrorism by providing an important counter-narrative.

In compliance with the mandate conferred to it by General Assembly resolutions 64/168 (2009) and 66/178 (2011) and subsequent relevant resolutions, and in accordance with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is focusing on the key role that victims of acts of terrorism can play before, during and after criminal legal proceedings, as well as on their needs for assistance and support.

UNODC is working with Member States to strengthen the implementation of national legislation and policies that support and protect victims of acts of terrorism. To maximize the impact of its technical assistance in this area, the UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch, in cooperation with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), has developed a specialized technical assistance tool entitled The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism. The handbook takes stock of national experiences and programmes to support victims of acts of terrorism, addressing relevant international standards and norms as well as national legislation. Available in all United Nations official languages, the handbook has been integrated into capacity building activities of the Terrorism Prevention Branch since its launch in November 2011.

UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch will soon begin working on the preparation of best practices on assistance to and support for victims of terrorism, including the role of victims within a criminal justice framework.

Click here to consult The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism .