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New Directions From the Field: Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century - International Perspectives

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
Because crime victimization has become an international epidemic, victim assistance must be an international antidote and the central feature of a universal strategy to prevent victimization.
Victimology is increasingly recognized as an international field of research and action because crime and victimization have become transnational and countries must look beyond their boundaries to share information, technology, and resources to assist victims. Crime particularly affects urban populations in all parts of the world, and countries can learn a great deal from each other about ways to address crime victim needs. International recognition of victimology as a distinct branch of criminology came with the first International Symposium on Victimology, held in Jerusalem in 1973, where a series of papers on victim compensation, crisis intervention, and the concept of a victim ombudsman were presented. By the end of the 1970s, symposium ideas were reflected in the establishment of victim service programs such as rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and victim-witness units in several countries. During the past two decades, the United Nations has addressed the needs of crime victims at the international level, particularly through the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power. Emerging issues in international victim assistance are considered, such as the victimization of tourists, victim compensation, international terrorism, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and child abduction by parents. Recommendations from the field for international victim assistance are offered. 11 endnotes

Date Published: January 1, 1998