Expanding victims’ rights – media workshop 1

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Belgrade – Knowing the rights of victims, including the right to support, is the first step towards claiming them. The role of the media is extremely important in this matter – this is one of the messages of the very first media workshop on ways to improve reporting on victims and witnesses of crime, which was held in Belgrade within the “Support to victims and witnesses of crime in Serbia” project.

The EU-funded project that aims to devise a comprehensive national system of support to victims of crime is carried out by the OSCE Mission to Serbia, as selected partner of the Ministry of Justice.

Within the seminar, PhD Milica Kolaković Bojović, expert consultant, and Tamara Mirović, Deputy Public Prosecutor, informed reporters about solutions envisaged in the new National strategy for exercising rights of victims and witnesses. Among other things, the two discussed mechanisms for facilitating proceedings, improving the infrastructure of courts and prosecutor’s offices that will contribute to the fact that victims will not be required face attack suspects in person, as well as to the training of professional services that provide support to the victims. Special attention is paid to the status and support to particularly vulnerable groups, such as the victims of rape, domestic violence, children, victims of trafficking, and hate crimes.

Through interaction with the representatives of judicial system and media experts, the reporters discussed key elements and participants of the process aimed at strengthening victims’ rights, discussed specificities of reporting about victims and witnesses, and explored possibilities that media outlets themselves can use to contribute to the better status of victims and building a safer, more humane and more fair society.

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