Sup­port­ing the vul­ner­a­ble

Be­low are the rec­om­men­da­tions to en­hance the rights of vul­ner­a­ble vic­tims and wit­nesses.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Woman -

Fo­cus must be on pro­fes­sion­al­ism and sen­si­tiv­ity, in or­der to bring the best ev­i­dence be­fore the court. Ser­vices should be tai­lored to­wards sys­tem­atic re­fer­rals, pro­tec­tion and con­tin­u­ous sup­port through­out the en­tire crim­i­nal jus­tice process. All per­son­nel must be able to ap­ply spe­cial mea­sures and guide­lines that are suited to the needs of the vic­tims or wit­nesses.

All crim­i­nal jus­tice agen­cies and in­sti­tu­tions must have train­ing mod­ules that are vic­tim-cen­tric. The po­lice and pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers with the So­cial Wel­fare depart­ment need this train­ing as they are the main en­force­ment of­fi­cers handling vic­tims. In­ter-agency joint train­ings are also needed.

Sim­i­lar to le­gal aid, this pro­posed fund should go to­wards all costs to meet the needs of vul­ner­a­ble vic­tims and wit­nesses, from post-in­ci­dent to post-trial treat­ment and re­cov­ery. As a start, it is pro­posed that the Le­gal Aid Depart­ment ex­pands its am­bit to rep­re­sent vul­ner­a­ble vic­tims such as abused women and chil­dren in court. This also cov­ers con­duct­ing watch­ing briefs and act­ing as coun­sel to ob­tain pro­tec­tion or­ders.

Fo­cused court sup­port projects should also be ini­ti­ated and ex­panded to ar­eas out­side the Klang Val­ley, us­ing stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures.

A multi-agency and NGOin­clu­sive mon­i­tor­ing body should be set up to make con­tin­u­ous di­a­logue and due dil­li­gence in vic­tim ad­vo­cacy a re­al­ity.

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