Source: (2007) Monograph 137, Institute for Security Studies.

In the context of significant developments in the international arena relating to the recognition of rights relating to crime victims, this monograph seeks to analyse three of the central policy efforts relating to crime victims in South Africa. The documents that are the focus of this monograph are: the Service Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa (more commonly known as the Victims’ Charter); the draft Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) and the National Prosecuting Authority’s draft Uniform Protocol on Victim Management (UPVM)... The monograph proceeds from the premise that measures to respond to victimisation should be based on the needs of crime victims... The international framework relating to crime victimisation is discussed, pointing particularly to the provisions in the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child... This discussion is followed by an overview of key legislation relating to crime victimisation. The discussion of the key provisions of the three policy documents under review is prefaced by a short introduction which describes the four central reasons forwarded for the development of victim policy in South Africa. These are: crime prevention, improving criminal justice efficiency, human rights and restorative justice... The next part of the monograph seeks to provide an analysis of the three policy documents... This discussion is concluded with a description of the key tools required to aid in the implementation of victim services. The monograph is concluded with a set of recommendations. These include: rationalise victim policy and clearly articulate its importance; orientate services towards the needs of victims; improve government and civil society relations and government funding to civil society; ensure the quality of services and establish the tools and systems for managing victim policy. (excerpt)