Monday, September 29, 2008

Victims' Rights are Human Rights

Human Rights Watch has released a new report called “Mixed Results: U.S. Policy and International Standards on the Rights and Interests of Victims of Crime,” which analyzes how well the U.S. is meeting international best practices regarding treatment of crime victims. A recent article in Human Rights news summarizes the report, including this interesting aspect: "Human Rights Watch found that police and prosecutors in some states enjoy very broad discretion over who is to be granted victim status and the extent to which victims are included in the justice process. In some cases, victims who disagree with the punishment being sought in the case – such as the death penalty – have been barred from testifying."

MVFHR's Renny Cushing and Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins were interviewed for the report, and are quoted within it. Jennifer and Bill Jenkins will be presenting a workshop on the report's findings, titled "Victims' Rights are Human Rights," at the annual conference of the National Organization for Victim Assistance, which is taking place this week in Louisville, Kentucky. Jennifer and Bill are also leading several other workshops, including one on "What Victims of Traumatic Loss Need to Know Right Away."

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