Sunday, 13 May 2012

Terror victims respond to UN's report on their rights with caution

[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Observer.  It reads in part:]

Victims of terror attacks welcome the UN's call for greater recognition, but remain sceptical over compensation terms

A report by drawn up by UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, details of which have been obtained by The Observer, proposes wide-ranging improvements in the legal treatment of those injured in terrorist attacks around the world, including an automatic right to compensation. (...)
Pamela Dix, Executive Director of Disaster Action, supporting those caught up in terrorism or disaster, began campaigning after her brother Peter died aboard Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in 1988. "If you had suggested 23 years ago that I would still be fighting the government on all fronts for appropriate recognition, trying to get politicians to deliver on promises, I would never have believed it. You don't realise the limitations of the system until you find yourself in that position." She welcomed a recognition of the right to form groups.
Ben Emmerson, who wrote the report, said victims' stories should be at the core of anti-terrorism strategies. "Over the past decade, international human rights law has undergone a crisis of public and political confidence. By making it clear that the law is there to protect the victims, and not just those who are suspected of terrorism, the international community can start to restore those basic principles of human rights law that have taken such a battering," he said.
[A further article in The Observer giving more details of the content of the UN report can be read here.]

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