220,000 people are becoming victims of crime each year – said the Minister of Interior at the the conference organized on the International Day for Victimes of Crime, which was co-organized by the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, the Institute of Public Administration and Justice and the National Council on Crime Prevention in Budapest this Friday.
The 22nd of February is a memorial day for crime victims in several European countries, as the Council of Europe published the Charter for Victims of Crime on 22 February in 1990. Hungary observes the Day for Victimes of Crime since 1993.
As Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér has said, nearly half a million people are living near victims and suffer an emotional and financial trauma in result of crimes.
The Minister of Interiror emphasized that anyone could be a victim and a wide range of social cooperation is needed to avoid this. According to him, a system-wide prevention is needed for effective work. This memorial day is a note as well, because if there is a lot of sacrifice, it is questionable whether adequate laws and measures have taken in order to protect society. The minister said that “after the period of dictatorship we have spent a considerable amount of force to see that no one gets punishment innocently” and it became clear that the victims are who need more attention.
A government decision was put forth in 1990 and in 2005, law was ratified on protecting victims and then again in 2011, a government decree has been adopted in order to see the National Council on Crime Prevention created.
In order to minimize the effects of acts of crime, the goal is to operate such a system which is based on a comprehensive legal regulation – said the Minister, who considers social cooperation a must in order to reach every member of the society. He believes that the significance of victim policy is appreciated to a greater extent nowadays, which is in association with the changes of concept about criminal justice.
The new approach takes the injuries of the victims into account and believes in compensation, but also pays attention to offenders and focuses on their reintegration to society.
Sándor Pintér said that “we get our job well done if we pay attention to all victims” and efforts should be made to minimize the number of victims.
Monika Balatoni, the Minister of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice described the Child-friendly Justice Program of the ministry on the conference and stressed the responsibility of the media. Her opinion is that the press should not only recognize the crimes, but also should be able to demonstrate a solution, e. g. that for what organzations and where to look for in such cases. The Minister of State also talked about the government’s zero tolerance in case of crimes committed against children.
József Hatala, ministerial commissioner of the National Council on Crime Prevention said that crime prevention and victim protection goes “hand in hand” and the National Strategy on Crime Prevention aims to see less of victims, but at the same time also that fewer people becoming perpetrators. He added that he firmly believes that they will be able to achieve a rise of awareness among the youth by different teaching methods, leisure activities or even through sports.
Matthew McVarish, Scottish actor and ambassador of the organization ‘Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse’ – and according to him, a victim of sexual abuse by his uncle – stressed at the press meeting that it is very important to talk about sexual abuse and the victims to be dare enough to speak about it, because it will greatly contribute to their recovery.