On December 9th was held the election of the new Governing Bodies of APAV for the four-year period 2016-2019. João Lázaro was reelected as President of the Board of APAV, leading a list that proposes: "to deepen capacity building and qualification of APAV for the demanding challenges of present and future times and the requirements of the new European framework of rights for crime victims, in order to do everything possible so that APAV strengthen its leading position in Victim Support in the Portuguese society”.
On November 10th João Lázaro was elected President of Victim Support Europe, an european organization that gathers victim support organizations from 26 countries. This act reflects the recognition of the work of APAV and its prominent role in promoting the rights of victims of crime, in Portugal and in Europe.
On the January 14th 2016, APAV promoted the Seminar IVOR - Services that work for victims. This event took place at Hotel Olissippo Marquês de Sá, in Lisboa, and gathered more than 150 participants, from ten different countries. This Policy Seminar was developed under “Project IVOR | implementing a victim-oriented reform of the criminal justice system of the european union” (co-financed by the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union) that the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) promotes in partnership with the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT, the Netherlands), the University of Leuven (Belgium) and Victim Support Europe.
APAV has launched a new awareness campaign on domestic violence. The campaign was developed by the agency FCB Lisbon in the form of a catalog.
The catalog is called "Home" and seems, at first glance, a furniture album. But it is, in fact, a catalog to wake awareness against domestic violence.
The catalog includes true stories, translated into statistics of violence in a domestic environment in Portugal in 2014. Domestic violence is a cross problem that primarily affects women, but also men, children and elderly people.
"Our home reflects who we are."
It is with deep grief that we heard of the passing of David MacKenna.
As Susan Gallagher, Acting Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland wrote, “David McKenna was the iconic victim supporter of his time. A pioneer of the development of victim support services across the world and indefatigable in his pursuit of victims’ rights. (…) As President of VSE David travelled the globe, often in many countries in the same week. His countless stories of dreadful travel and horrendous hotel experiences are legendary. Always told for comedic value which left you speechless and crying with laughter!”
David was indeed an inspiration in the victim support movement, his wit, energy and cheerful stories, will be remembered by all of us.
The 18th of October is the European Anti Trafficking Day. The European Anti Trafficking Day was launched by the European Commission in 2007 in order to promote awareness of the major violation of human rights that is human trafficking among the general public and particularly among governments.
The victims of human trafficking come from, pass through and have their destinations in the member states of the European Union. According to Eurostat – Trafficking in Human Beings 2015, the 28 member states recorded a total of 30,146 victims of this crime between 2010 and 2012, who were primarily women subjected to sexual exploitation. According to the statistics of the Portuguese Observatory on Human Trafficking there were 182 presumed victims of this crime in Portugal in 2014.
Portugal has employed various strategies to prevent and combat the trafficking of human beings. The US State Department has evaluated these strategies, on the Trafficking In Persons Report - July 2015, and classified Portugal in Tier 1 (the highest level) with regard to the efficacy of the strategies adopted in various circumstances in 2014, and made particular mention of the following primary measures:
• The gathering by the government of statistical information from governmental institutions and NGOs;
• The operation of three Refuges where the victims identified are sheltered and provided with all necessary support;
• The efforts made to improve the investigation of this crime and the imposition of deterrent penalties by the Portuguese courts;
• The increased number of cases before the Portuguese courts in which a verdict has been handed down;
• The campaigns and other protective measures taken by the government, above all in collaboration with civil society organisations.
The Portuguese Victim Support Association provides victims of trafficking with expert, humane and free support via its National Network of Victim Support Units, its Victims Helpline (tel. 116 006, which has national coverage and is free of charge), the Migrant Victims Support Unit (UAVM) and its Southern Refuge, which shelters and supports women, who are victims of trafficking, and their minor children. In addition to the support that APAV gives directly to victims, it also participates actively in networks and working groups that are active in the support of victims, such as the Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking Network (RAPVT) and the 3rd National Plan for the Prevention and Combatting of the Trafficking of Human Beings, both of which are co-ordinated by the Gender Equality Commission (CIG) and also the European Commission’s Platform of Civil Society Organisations against the Human Trafficking on which Portugal is represented by APAV and two other Portuguese institutions.
Furthermore and in order to promote the prevention of human trafficking, APAV is promoting the raising awareness campaign "No to Trafficking", developed under the Projet Briseis – combatting human trafficking for work exploitation campaign, in order to create an awareness among the general public regarding the prevention of this work-linked crime.