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Project ABC Justice promotes activities with students

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The Project ABC Justice, promoted by APAV and financially supported by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) through the Embassy of the United States of America, aims to inform young people aged between 12 and 17 years old about the functioning of the Justice system.

To this effect, an informational and educational website is being designed in a simple way that adapts to the users age and explains how the Justice system functions and the rights of victims of crime. Learning-technology resources have also been developed to conduct informational sessions for young people. With the sessions lasting 80 minutes, different issues are addressed concerning how criminal proceedings operate with a complaint, the investigation phase, the audience of the trial, the sentencing, victims' of crime rights and other factors.

Between the 8th of May and the 12th of June, 14 informative sessions were held, in which 270 students from secondary school participated in. APAV collaborated with different schools from mainland Portugal and the autonomous regions, such as: the Secondary School of Fundao with students between 12 and 15 years old, the Secondary School Jaime Moniz; in Funchal, the Secondary School of Carregal do Sal, Primary School Arrifes, in Ponta Delgado, the Secondary School D. Manuel I, in Beja, the Center of Education and Development D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, the Casa Pia of Lisbon, and the Basic and Secondary School Águas Santas in Maia.

These sessions were followed by a total of 13 study visits to the courts, the Public Security Police Stations, the National Republican Guard and the Victim Support Offices of APAV.

APAV wants to take the opportunity to thank and recognize the participation and availability of all the schools, the judicial authorities and the police, as well as the respective professionals who’ve actively been involved in the ABC Justice Project activity.

Safety & Tourism: Supporting Tourist Victims

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The Touristic Safer Cities Project, sponsored by the European Forum for Urban Safety (EFUS) held a meeting in Munich on the 7th and 8th of July. The EFUS is a European forum which brings together 250 local and regional authorities from 16 different European countries. This project is in partnership with APAV as a specialist victim support organization in relation to tourist victims of crime. Its partner cities include: Alba and Rome (Italy), Munich (Germany), Saint Denis (France), Brasov (Romania) and Barcelona (Spain). The project considers security of key importance to the continued success of tourist destinations.

APAV was represented by its President who, through the communication of ‘Supporting Tourist Victims of Crime in the EU’, stressed the need for security strategies in densely populated tourist cities to include, in addition to prevention and police intervention, support to individuals and tourists that have been victims of crime. APAV has a renewed site specifically for tourists - May I help you? - with a Portuguese, English and Spanish versions.

Portuguese version of the Victim Support Europe Manifesto

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APAV launched the Portuguese version of the 2014-2019 Victim Support Europe Manifesto, which aims to be an asset to the future European Parliament Act. It is time to act in the defense of approximately 75 million crime victims (direct or indirect) per year at the European Union. The time has come for policy makers and legislators to exercise their function and play a key role in providing the necessary means of turning the rights of victims of crime in the EU into an effective everyday reality.

This important document was prepared by Victim Support Europe (a European network bringing together 34 organizations that assist victims of 25 European countries, of which APAV is a founding member and holds the vice president position). In effect, the document contains 10 challenges and 10 objectives.

Victim Support Europe is expected to completely and comprehensively implement the policy for victims of crime in all the EU member states. APAV monitors and supports this challenge and requirement, and Portugal and its government must take greater responsibility for Portugal, as the country belongs to the historical origin of earlier legal instruments of the European Union, namely the rights of victims of crime.

Victim Support Europe Manifesto 2014-2019 [Portuguese Version]


New website to promote the victims rights

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In order to promote the rights of victims of crime, APAV launched the website infovictims.com.

This website was presented during the Infovictims Seminar, that took place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, past September.

The new site infovictims.com aims to inform dynamically and interactively the rights of victims of crime. There were developed two versions of the website, in English (infovictims.com) and Portuguese (infovitimas.pt).

The website was developed under the Infovictims Project, promoted by APAV and co-financed by the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Commission.


European Parliament votes in favour of justice and services for Undocumented Migrant Women

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"The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) and Women against Violence Europe (WAVE) commend the European Parliament for passing the resolution on undocumented migrant women in the European Union.

The plenary session of the European Parliament today voted on a resolution on ‘Undocumented Women Migrants in the European Union’. The motion for this resolution came from an own-initiative report of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). Prepared by rapporteur Norica Nicolai (ALDE, Romania), the resolution calls on national and European authorities to ensure that a woman’s immigration status does not prevent her from accessing decent housing, healthcare, and education, and to safeguard access to justice for those experiencing violence and exploitation.

While it is regretful that some key recommendations were not passed such as a call for member states to ratify the UN Convention on Migrant Workers and the need to increase legal and social assistance for undocumented women, the resolution marks an important step regarding the need to protect undocumented women’s rights in Europe.

Across the EU, undocumented women face significant barriers to access to support, services and justice.  Because immigration control is often given priority to their needs as victims, they risk severe reprisals when contacting the police. As a consequence, female victims of violence are detained and deported, while their perpetrators remain unpunished. This protection gap means that perpetrators of violence against women can actually threaten their victims with the police.

When she became undocumented in Sweden, Miriam (33) found herself in a chain of abuse that was impossible to break. She was turned away from the local women’s shelter and lived in fear of the police. Her irregular status meant that she could be abused with impunity.

“He hit me and wanted to kill me, I could not go to the police because I have no papers. He said ‘if you leave me, I will call the police, you are a case for the police’. It was a very bad situation for me”,

The resolution recommends that member states now delink the prosecution of violence from immigration control so that all victims can safely report crimes. To ensure undocumented women are not turned away in their time of need, violence against women shelters are encouraged to waive requirements that women provide documentation. Finally, access to healthcare and education should be upheld, there should be no reporting of children of undocumented migrants.

The resolution marks an important recognition that all women should be able to access justice regardless of their residence status."

Source: PICUM