Human rights for victims of non-state crime

Taking victims seriously?

By Anna Wergens

Parallel to the dynamic evolution of human rights law, the last decades have seen the development and adoption of numerous victims' rights instruments. Against the backdrop of rights proliferation and the victims' rights movement, this thesis discusses whether the rhetoric, which increasingly connects victims of non-state crime with human rights, is defensible. By exploring case law from the European Court of Human Rights, the book clarifies what the universal rights of the European Convention on Human Rights mean to victims of non-state crime. When victims are situated in the conceptual framework of human rights, it becomes clear how the major objectives of victims' rights - to prevent repeat victimization and secondary victimization - concur with fundamental principles in the field of human rights. It is also demonstrated that victims' rights represent different means for victims to access their universal rights and, in this way, the access to justice paradigm emerges as the major prerequisite for integrating victims into human rights law. With respect to the diversification that nonetheless persists between various groups of victims in this field, and the identification as victims of human rights violations, it is concluded that the appreciation of victims in the sphere of human rights has been influenced by the tension between the universality of human rights and the particular experience of certain groups. Thesis. [Subject: Human Rights Law]

Publication Date: 12/3/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789462401853