Media Release: Victim Support Europe conference in Scotland for first time

A MAJOR two-day conference in Edinburgh this week could ensure the development of co-ordinated services for vitims and witnesses of crime across the world.

Says a spokesperson: “The conference in the Caledonian Hotel on May 30-31 has been organised by Victim Support Europe (VSE) and is the first time the event has been staged in the UK.

“It brings together justice organisations from across the globe with a view to mapping the improvements which would be necessary to ensure that victims of crime received the best standard of treatment irrespective of where in the world an offence occurs.”

Keynote speakers include David McKenna, president of VSE and chief executive of Victim Support Scotland, Kenny MacAskill, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice, HRH The Princess Royal, president of Victim Support in the UK, Vivianne Reding, vice-president of the European Commission.

The full programme for the event is listed below, and the media are welcome to attend.

Angela Catlin has been engaged to provide daily picture coverage.

For further information/assistance, contact David Sinclair (see details below).

Victim Support Europe Programme – Thursday, 30 May

08:00-09:00 Registration Caledonian Hotel

09:00-10:15 Opening Ceremony


Bob Leitch, Chair of Victim Support Scotland

EU Irish Presidency Keynote Address

Fergus O’Dowd TD, Minister of State (Irish Government and

EU Presidency)

Victims and Witnesses in Scotland

Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scotland

Victims’ Rights in Europe

Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission

Opportunities/Challenges in Delivering Rights and Services to Victims in Europe

David McKenna, President of Victim Support Europe

10:15 Refreshments

10:30 Workshop Session One – Victims’ Rights

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Workshop Session Two – Cross-border Victimisation

14:30 Refreshments

14:45 Workshop Session Three – Victims’ Rights in a Wider Context

16:00 Plenary Session – Victim Support Leaders’ Perspective

Chair: Petra Kjallman, Executive Director, Victim Support Finland

John Hayward-Cripps, Locality Director, Victim Support England & Wales

Sabrina Belucci, Chief Executive, INAVEM (France)

Helgard van Hullen, Vice President, Weisser Ring (Germany)

João Lázaro, Vice-President of Victim Support Europe and, Executive Director APAV (Portugal)

Close of Conference Day One

18:30-20:30 Reception at Edinburgh Castle hosted by Scottish Government

Programme – Friday, 31 May

08:00-09:00 Registration Caledonian Hotel

09:00 Plenary Session – Next Steps in Progressing Victims’ Rights

Chair: Jim Andrews, Deputy Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland

Future plans

Ingrid Bellander-Todino, Team Leader for Victims rights, Justice Directorate, European Commission

Next steps – The European Parliament

Antonyia Parvanova MEP, Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, European Parliament

International Perspective

Will Marling, Executive Director, National Organization for Victim Assistance (US)

Action Plan

João lázaro, Vice-President of Victim Support Europe

10:15 Refreshments

10:30 Workshop Session Four – New Approaches in Victim Support

12:30 Lunch

1350 Arrival of HRH The Princess Royal

1400 – 1415 Dr Helgard van Hullen to chair and introduce:

Plenary Session – The EU Directive on Victims’ Rights

Frida Wheldon, Head of Policy, Victim Support Europe

14.15 David McKenna and Bob Leitch to introduce HRH to: Dame Helen Reeves, Will Marling, Marc Groenhuisjen. Simona Mesoniene, Director, Ministry of Justice, Lithuania; Denisa Fikarova, Victims Team, European Commission.

1420 – 1515 Workshop sessions:

* BOARDROOM: Supporting Victims of human trafficking

* GLAMIS/DORNOCH rooms: Expanding the scope of Victim Definition: Supporting Victims of Collective Disasters

* VERSAILLES room: Victim Complaint Procedures – seeking redress for breached rights

* CASTLE SUITE: Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

* CASTLE SUITE: Young Victims

1515 David McKenna and Bob Leitch to introduce HRH to organising team:

1520 – 1550 Plenary Session – Moving Forward for Victims: The Holistic Approach

Dame Helen Reeves, Victim Support Europe (Chair); David McKenna, Victim Support Europe; Will Marling NOVA (US); Marc Groenhuisjen, INTERVICT; Simona Mesoniene, Ministry of Justice, Lithuania.

1550 HRH – speech

1555 Closing Remarks

David McKenna, President of Victim Support Europe.

16.00 Bob Leitch to introduce Laura Heapy, 10, to present posy to HRH and to close conference

David McKenna and Bob Leitch to escort HRH to Castle rooms to reception:

1615 Depart

18:30-22:00 Drinks Reception and Conference Dinner at the Signet library, Edinburgh

Saturday, 1 June

09:30-12:30 Victim Support Europe General Meeting

Glamis/Dornoch Suite, Caledonian Hotel

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Victim Support Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: David Sinclair
Phone: 07803970320