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National Crime Victim Law Institute

The International Victims’ Rights Community is Growing

July 08, 2016

Meaningful participation of victims in criminal justice proceedings is receiving increased attention not only in the United States but across the globe.  In recent years the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted provisions for victims’ rights and participation and many countries have integrated provisions into their domestic law.  For instance, in 2014 Kenya adopted the Victim Protection Act (VPA) which affords crime victims a range of enforceable rights throughout a criminal process.

As part of the effort to ensure the new rights are put into practice and truly made meaningful, REDRESS, an international NGO located in London, hosted a training on victims’ rights and participatory status on June 21-22 in Nairobi, Kenya.  The training began with explaining the international framework for victims’ rights; moved into a comparative analysis of common law jurisdictions’ practices of integrating victims’ rights; and culminated in working on recommendations on the future application of the Kenyan VPA.  The agenda for the two day event can be found here.

NCVLI’s Executive Director Meg Garvin was among the international experts invited to participate alongside 25 Kenyan prosecutors.  Upon her return Meg commented, “Sadly, victim silencing and exclusion is in many ways the same the world over, but so too is the commitment of so many to change this reality and empower survivors while at the same time ensuring fair and just systems. It was truly an inspiring experience.” 

Among the other trainers at the event were Professor Lillian Artz, Director of the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS, and James X. Kironji, Director of Casework at the International Justice Mission.

Click here to see photos from the training.