February 22nd

European Day for Victims of Crime -

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Every year, the 22nd of February marks the European Day for Victims of Crime. This important day is dedicated to raising awareness about, and advocating for, the rights and support services available to crime victims across Europe. This day of recognition is a collaborative effort between the European Union and multiple organizations.

The aim of this day is to help all crime victims find justice, protection, and support, regardless of the type of crime they’ve been subjected to. This day serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility in improving conditions for victims, emphasizing their experiences, along with the necessity for support during their recovery.

History of European Day for Victims of Crime

The European Day for Victims of Crime, annually commemorated on February 22nd, debuted in 1990 as an initiative by Victim Support Europe (VSE), an international organization. The event’s inception aimed to raise consciousness about the challenges and rights of crime victims across Europe.

The late 80s and early 90s marked a significant shift in global criminal justice strategies. The period saw an evolution from a sole focus on punishing offenders to an emphasis on offering support for the victims, an ideology that served as the backdrop for the establishment of this day.

The UN’s adoption of the “Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power” in 1985 sowed the seeds for this initiative. This pivotal declaration highlighted the devastating effects of crime on individuals and communities and established essential principles for treating victims to guarantee their fair access to justice and support.

The European Day for Victims of Crime spurred all European nations to formulate policies dedicated to safeguarding victim rights and augmenting public awareness about the impacts of crime on victims and the assistance services available.

The ensuing years saw the implementation of several European directives aimed at fortifying the rights of crime victims. Notably, in 2012, the European Union issued a “Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime,” a step that underscored crime victims’ rights to information, support, and protection.

In a momentous step in 2020, the European Commission introduced its maiden “Victims’ Rights Strategy,” outlining a five-year plan to reinforce the rights of victims throughout the EU.

European Day for Victims of Crime Timeline

Origin of EDVC

The idea of a European Day for Victims of Crime was first broadly discussed during the 1990's within Victim Support Europe.

Recognition of EDVC

The Council of the European Union in Brussels marked February 22 as the annual European Day for Victims of Crime.

Victims’ Rights Directive

The European Parliament passed the Victims’ Rights Directive, mandating specific protections, support and access to justice for crime victims.

Victims’ Rights Strategy

The European Commission outlined a five-year plan to reinforce the rights of victims throughout the EU.

Modern European Day for Victims of Crime

The day is marked across Europe with events to raise awareness for the struggles that crime victims endure, and the importance of their support and protection.

Ideas to Celebrate European Day for Victims of Crime

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Walk/Run for Awareness

You could arrange a local marathon or fun run in your neighborhood to highlight the plight of crime victims. Donations collected from this event could be gifted to local groups that provide assistance to these individuals.

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Panel Discussion

Hosting a debate panel where experts, aid workers, and victims can share their thoughts and experiences while also suggesting enhancements in protection for victims could be one way to celebrate.

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Social Media Campaign

Initiate an online campaign, sharing relevant data, survivor stories and words of encouragement for victims. This could be a way to show unity and spread consciousness.

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Victims' Rights Seminar

You can arrange a seminar, either face-to-face or virtual, enlightening participants about the statutory rights of victims and how society can aid them.

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Victims' Support Fair

You could put together a fair with various stalls for different aid organizations offering services to crime victims. These types of events can make resources more accessible to the public.

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Candlelight Vigil

By facilitating a vigil, you can pay tribute to those who have been victims of crime. This could be a heartfelt way to show community backing and unity.

6 Interesting Facts About European Day for Victims of Crime


Recognition of Rights

A key aspect of this day is the affirmation of victims' rights, and the emphasis on their widespread application and honor.


Coverage of All Crimes

This day acknowledges victims from varying circumstances, encompassing those affected by acts of terrorism, bias crimes, human trafficking, domestic abuse, and violations of a sexual nature, among others.


Promotion of Victim Support

On this day, there is an urging toward the enhancement of services and provisions that assist victims, across all European countries.


Activation of Legal Mechanisms

This occasion also serves to promote the initiation of legal structures developed to support and safeguard victims.


Increasing Public Awareness

Across countries, public awareness drives and events are organized to raise the profile of victims’ rights, the aftermath of criminal activities on victims, and the support they're entitled to.


Push for Policy Changes

Victims’ support organizations often use this day to advocate policy alterations, striving for the establishment of enhanced laws and rules to better protect and assist victims.

European Day for Victims of Crime FAQs

Next European Day for Victims of Crime Dates

Year Date Day
2023 February 22nd Wednesday
2024 February 22nd Thursday
2025 February 22nd Saturday
2026 February 22nd Sunday
2027 February 22nd Monday
What is the pattern? Every February 22nd

European Day for Victims of Crime Word Search

  • Justice
  • Victim
  • Awareness
  • Support
  • Rights
  • Solidarity