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.
The efforts to improve the position of crime victims are based on national objectives and international recommendations and obligations. The most important international instruments in this regard are
- Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (the so-called Victims’ Rights Directive)
- Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims
- Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children
- Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism, and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing
- combating violence against women and domestic violence (the so-called Istanbul Convention).
The EU Strategy on victims’ rights outlines development measures to be carried out in 2020–2025.
Of the support services available for crime victims, the Ministry of Justice finances the activities of Victim Support Finland and Nollalinja. The victim surcharge collected from offenders reinforces state funding for support services. The Ministry has entrusted Victim Support Finland with a public service obligation to provide and produce general support services for victims of crime under the Victims’ Rights Directive for 2018–2027. 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 Istanbul Convention.
Taking victims’ needs into consideration in legal proceedings and in support measures not only promotes the victims’ legal protection but also improves the enforcement of criminal liability. The key authorities in the Ministry’s administrative branch in this regard are the legal aid offices, the Prosecution Service, the courts, and the National Courts Administration. The Ministry of Justice has a cooperation agreement with the State Treasury on activities related to compensation for crime damage.
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. Projects carried out by other departments may also have links to victims’ rights.
Sources of information
Guides 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.