chapter  1
27 Pages

Victims on the world stage

In this extract from its Strategic Plan, the World Society of Victimology gives voice to a concern being expressed in jurisdictions across the globe for the lack of support, services and rights afforded to many victims of crime and other misfortunes. As a response to such challenges, victims of crime have become a topic of great political interest and policy movement, for both individual jurisdictions and international organizations. Such developments become particularly significant in light of the victim’s near indivisibility in criminal justice in past decades1 whereby, as states assumed responsibility for reacting to crime and pursuing prosecutions, the role of the crime victim in this process became further and further eroded in most jurisdictions (Spalek 2006). The apparent reversal of this trend, witnessed in many countries across all continents in recent years, raises fundamental questions concerning the common influences on policy making between states, the politicization of crime victims and the changing relationship between the state and the individual.