Relevant Laws and Guidance

Compendium of Law and Guidance

The tables at the links provide profiles of the Victims’ Rights Directive, the Child Sexual Abuse Directive, the Trafficking Directive, the Council of Europe Trafficking Convention, the Lanzarote Convention, Optional Protocol to the UNCRC on the sale of children and the Palermo Convention, all referenced fully in Section II above. They show the way and extent to which each instrument contains particular obligations to child victims and witnesses of violence.

The excerpts from the PROMISE Compendium of Law and Guidance:

An overview of the relevant law and guidance

Core European & international laws concerning child victims & witnesses of violence & child rights​​

DIRECTIVE 2011/93/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA

Recital 24 Secondary victimisation should be avoided for victims of offences referred to in this Directive. In Member States where prostitution or the appearance in pornography is punishable under national criminal law, it should be possible not to prosecute or impose penalties under those laws where the child concerned has committed those acts as a result of being victim of sexual exploitation or where the child was compelled to participate in child pornography.​​

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

Article 30.​​ 2 Each Party shall adopt a protective approach towards victims, ensuring that the investigations and criminal proceedings do not aggravate the trauma experienced by the child and that the criminal justice response is followed by assistance, where appropriate…

DIRECTIVE 2012/29/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA

Victims of crime should be protected from secondary and repeat victimisation, from intimidation and from retaliation, should receive appropriate support to facilitate their recovery and should be provided with sufficient access to justice…

DIRECTIVE 2011/36/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA

Recital 14 .. Victims of trafficking in human beings should, in accordance with the basic principles of the legal systems of the relevant Member States, be protected from prosecution or punishment for criminal activities such as the use of false documents, or offences under legislation on prostitution or immigration, that they have been compelled to commit as a direct consequence of being subject to trafficking. The aim of such protection is to safeguard the human rights of victims, to avoid further victimisation and to encourage them to act as witnesses in criminal proceedings against the perpetrators.

Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

Article 28. 1 Each Party shall adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to provide effective and appropriate protection from potential retaliation or intimidation in particular during and after investigation and prosecution of perpetrators…

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

Article 8 States Parties shall adopt appropriate measures to protect the rights and interests of child victims of the practices prohibited under the present Protocol at all stages of the criminal justice process, in particular by: … Providing, in appropriate cases, for the safety of child victims, as well as that of their families and witnesses on their behalf, from intimidation and retaliation…

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, As well as its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children

Article 25 of the Convention. Assistance to and protection of victims
1. Each State Party shall take appropriate measures within its means to provide assistance and protection to victims of offences covered by this Convention, in particular in cases of threat of retaliation or intimidation.