Victims of Terrorism
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy has laid the foundation for the United Nation’s work on victims of terrorism. The Strategy, adopted by consensus, in the form of a resolution and an annexed Plan of Action (A/RES/60/288), is a unique global instrument that enhances national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism.
This is the first time that all Member States have agreed to a common strategic approach to fight terrorism, not only sending a clear message that terrorism is unacceptable in all its forms and manifestations but also resolving to take practical steps individually and collectively to prevent and combat it.
Victims of terrorism issues are addressed under Pillar I and Pillar IV of the Strategy. These strive to “promote international solidarity in support of victims”, stress “the need to promote and protect the rights of victims of terrorism”, and seek to address the “dehumanization of victims of terrorism” by promoting “solidarity for victims of terrorism and assistance for victims and their families and facilitate the normalization of their lives.”
The Secretary-General’s Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism held in 2008 was a practical step to recognize the needs of victims of terrorism following the adoption of the Strategy. The Symposium gave both a face and a voice to victims of acts of terrorism and provide a forum for discussing concrete steps to assist victims in coping with their experiences, and to share good practices. For the first time at the global level, victims, Governments, experts and civil society came together during the Symposium that resulted in eight recommendations on how to improve support to victims. One of the recommendations was to establish a “virtual networking, communication and information hub for victims of terrorism.” The Support Portal has been developed based on this recommendation.
Objectives of the Support Portal
The UN Victims of Terrorism Support Portal is a broad based, apolitical resource that aims to:
- Serve as a resource hub for information on issues related to victims of terrorism;
- Contribute to the rehabilitation of victims of terrorism by providing victims and their families a resource on rehabilitation; and
- Express international solidarity with victims of terrorism and raise awareness of national and international efforts undertaken to support them, in order to highlight importance of including victims in all areas of counter terrorism work.