Survivors of violence: Rights and Standards

Attention to the rights and needs of people who have experienced violence, torture, intimidation and other forms of trauma is collectively referred to as victims’ rights. Victimisation occurs in multiple contexts, predominantly in situations of armed conflict, repression and war, and violent crime. Over recent decades international instruments and standards have developed to guide policy and programming in this area, including ensuring that holistic approaches to gender are included.

Types of work we do::
• Evaluate support services and policies related to victims of crime, violence and abuse.
• Programme and policy development, design and implementation.
• Research.
• Peer reviews of analytical material.
• Remedial work on reports and documents including editing and drafting.

Examples of current and past work include:
A leading example is the Surviving Gun Violence Project (SGVP) that was created by by Cate Buchanan, SGVP built on years of experience in violence reduction, gun control, women’s rights and victims’ services. It aimed to:
• Advance global policy and standards in human rights, health, crime prevention, weapons control, development assistance and more.
• Facilitate inclusive national action to improve services and policies for survivors.
• Identify good practice in policy and programming on assistance to survivors.

Cate was the Chief Editor of the book "Gun Violence, Disability and Recovery" (2014) which includes chapters and shorter pieces on thematic issues (e.g. victims’ rights and standards, social protection, rehabilitation and recovery) and country studies (e.g. Guatemala, Somalia, India, South Africa, Canada) and an annotated summary of 56 relevant international standards and instruments. Over 100 people contributed either as writers, peer reviewers, sounding boards, photographers and more. This included survivors, carers, justice professionals, emergency surgeons, physiotherapists, counselors, social protection specialists and disability rights advocates. With a dedicated team of editors, and writers, including Mireille Widmer, Emile Le Brun and Rebecca Peters, endorsements were received from 20 eminent individuals.

All the profits from the book go directly to the Transitions Foundation in Guatemala, a disability rights organisation with wheelchair production and print shop. Most of the people coming to Transitions for assistance or who work there have been shot.

A man is wheeled into a recovery room at Bor hospital after undergoing an operation following a gunshot wound in Jonglei state, South Sudan. Clashes between rival ethnic groups erupted in eastern Jonglei state, caused 144 wounded people to be evacuated to the hospital. © Mackenzie Knowles- Coursin/Courtesy of IRIN www.irinnews.org
A man is wheeled into a recovery room at Bor hospital after undergoing an operation following a gunshot wound in Jonglei state, South Sudan. Clashes between rival ethnic groups erupted in eastern Jonglei state, caused 144 wounded people to be evacuated to the hospital. © Mackenzie Knowles- Coursin/Courtesy of IRIN www.irinnews.org