EU Victims’ Rights Directive is a chance for Ireland to ‘correct mistakes of the past’ says ICI
2015-11-15 12:09:27 -
Human Rights
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The European Victims’ Rights Directive sets out minimum standards to ensure those targeted by criminals are given protection, support, access to justice as well as compensation.

 

But the treatment of trafficking victims in Ireland does not yet meet those standards, warns the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI).

 

Coming into force on 16 November, the new directive “sets out key rights which countries are obliged to honour: respectful treatment and recognition, protection, support in long term physical and psychological assistance, access to justice as well as compensation and restoration,” says ICI chief executive Brian Killoran, who adds that “we do not believe our current practices [in Ireland] meet those requirements”.

 

Killoran cites the recent Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission findings, after previous statements by the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the US State Department as highlighting “Ireland’s failings in identifying victims and employing discriminatory practices in that regard”

 

However, the new directive is also an opportunity to “correct the mistakes of the past”, according to ICI anti-trafficking manager Nusha Yonkova, who says the council welcomes Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s commitment “to introduce a new Victims Rights Bill”.

 

Measures that ICI wants to see in this bill include improved ID procedures for victims, particularly children; full access to trauma supports, independent legal representation, education and training; compensation for past abuse; and an end to the placing of trafficking victims in direct provision.

 

“We encourage Minister Fitzgerald to use this directive as an opportunity to complement and improve the current responses to victims of human trafficking,” adds Yonkova.

TAGS : European Victims\' Rights Directive Trafficking Immigrant Council of Ireland ICI Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Human Rights
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