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Kick-off conference for the “Strengthening the position of crime victims and support for witnesses in criminal proceedings” project

Kick-off conferenceOn 4 September 2014, the seat of the Ministry of Justice hosted the kick-off conference for the “Strengthening the position of crime victims and support for witnesses in criminal proceedings” project executed by the Ministry in cooperation with the Norwegian partner:  Norwegian National Courts Administration, Norwegian Red Cross and the Regional Court in  Nedre Romerike.

- “Norway is a pioneer in supporting the crime victims, which, along with supporting the witnesses, is the key task of our project” – said Mr. Wojciech Węgrzyn, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice, during the kick-off conference.

Kick-off conferenceThroughout the next one and half a year, the Polish and Norwegian experts will share their experiences and carry out joint works within the project.

The tasks assumed by the project include the activities for the crime victims, in particular for vulnerable victims and witnesses in criminal proceedings.

The following activities for crime victims will be carried out under the project:

- all-Poland informational campaign on the victims’ rights;

- providing psychological and legal support to the victims by the selected entities at the sites, to which the victims are directed in the first instance (among others Police Stations, Social Aid Centers);

- trainings for the persons working the victims during their professional practice.

Participation of judges, prosecutors, probation officers and persons having the everyday contact with the crime victims is planned.

Kick-off conferencePart of the project concerning support for the witnesses in criminal proceedings will include training of the Customer Service Points in the area of providing legal and actual aid to the witnesses in criminal proceedings.

The activity addressing both the part focused on strengthening of the position of crime victims and support of witnesses in criminal proceedings is establishing of subsequent 20 so called ‘friendly interrogation rooms’ for children, dedicated to cross-examining of minor witnesses, including minor victims. There are 76 friendly interrogation rooms operating in Poland certified by the Ministry of Justice and the Nobody’s Children Foundation.

img_1723The conference was also attended by the representatives of the Norwegian Red Cross, Regional Court in Nedre Romerike, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Poland and the representatives of the Prosecution General, National Police Headquarters, State Council of Probation Officers  and Regional Courts.