The Ministry of Justice is responsible for drafting the legislation related to the legal status of crime victims and for improving the position of crime victims within its mandate. Efforts are made to improve the position of victims by financing support services, promoting access to information and developing good practices that take into account the needs of victims in criminal proceedings, for example.
The efforts to improve the position of crime victims are based on national objectives and international recommendations and obligations. One of the most important of these is the Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (the so-called Victims’ Rights Directive). The national legislative amendments supporting the implementation of the Directive entered into force in 2016. In the same year, the Government introduced a victim surcharge, collected from sentenced offenders, to strengthen the central government financing for victim support services.
The Ministry of Justice finances the activities of Victim Support Finland and Nollalinja. The Ministry has entrusted Victim Support Finland with a public service obligation to provide and produce public support services for victims of crime under the Victims’ Rights Directive from 2018 to 2027. The services are intended for all victims of crime and their families.
Nollalinja is a round-the-clock helpline for victims of violence, especially violence against women and intimate partner violence. Such a helpline is required under the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the so-called Istanbul Convention).
The Ministry of Justice participates in the activities of the European Network of Victims’ Rights and is one of the founding members of the association. The network aims to improve the realisation of the rights of crime victims in the EU by promoting cooperation, exchange of information and good practices between Member States.
At the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Criminal Policy and Criminal Law is responsible for planning reforms related to the position of crime victims. The key authorities in the Ministry’s administrative branch in this respect are the legal aid offices, the prosecution service, the courts, and the National Courts Administration, which started its operations in 2020. The Ministry of Justice has a cooperation agreement with the State Treasury on activities related to compensation for crime damage.
The Programme of Prime Minister Marin’s Government includes a number of measures aimed at improving the position of crime victims. The Ministry of Justice has launched several development projects to achieve the objectives laid down in the Government Programme.
Sources of information
Brochures on the Oikeus.fi website
Information about the rights of crime victims and about what to do if you or your child becomes a victim of a crime.
European e-Justice Portal
Online service maintained by the European Commission, providing information on the legal system, legal protection and victims' rights in different Member States.
European Network on Victims´ Rights
Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy
Research data related to crime victims.