Project type: EU
Funding: European Commission
Coordinator: Validity Foundation, Hungary
Leader: red. prof. dr. Vito Flaker (za FSD)
The project focuses on creating practical tools for people with disabilities who are victims of crime, to help ensure that they can participate actively in criminal justice processes. The EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) guarantees victims the rights, among others, to understand and be understood, to be informed, and to be heard. Where criminal justice professionals fail to provide victims with disabilities with accessible information, do not have the knowledge and tools to communicate in ways victims with disabilities can understand, or cannot support victims with disabilities to express their needs and experiences, these rights are violated and victims do not receive justice.
People with intellectual, psychosocial and physical disabilities are the focus of the project, including those who experience multiple and intersecting discrimination because of their disability together with their gender, ethnicity, or other status. The two-year project started in July 2020, is co-funded by the European Commission and is taking place in seven EU countries (Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Croatia).
The project builds on the expertise and experience of the Validity Foundation and the Consortium partners. Validity and project partners have previously investigated access to justice for children with mental disabilities, exposed abuses against children with disabilities in institutions in the CHARM project, and developed tools to enhance the skills of legal professionals to represent children with mental disabilities in a project entitled ‘Innovating European Lawyers to Advance the Rights of Children with Disabilities‘. In parallel, Validity is coordinating a second EC co-funded project focused on making criminal justice systems child-friendly in three EU countries, by improving how individual assessments are conducted for children with disabilities, children who are unaccompanied, or children who are deprived of parental care. The two projects are being implemented in close cooperation, and it is anticipated that the findings, outcomes and deliverables will be complementary.