Since the Protocol’s entry into force in 2006, States Parties have undertaken significant work on victim assistance. The central platform for action by States Parties was agreement on a Plan of Action on Victim Assistance, which addressed the needs and rights of victims. Also, a questionnaire was launched in 2008. The objective of the questionnaire was to better understand the situation of victims in ERW-affected States. Nevertheless, much remains to be done on universalizing and implementing victim assistance.
Below is the Plan of Action on Victim Assistance in the six different languages of the United Nations:
The following are the Plan’s action points:
Action 1: States Parties should ‘provide or facilitate the provision of age- and gender-sensitive medical care, rehabilitation, psychological support and adequate assistance for social and economic inclusion in a non-discriminatory manner.’
Action 2: States Parties are to collect data on victims.
Action 3: Assistance and cooperation which is provided should be consistent with the ‘national laws and procedures of the recipient State.’ All States, international organizations and institutions are urged to cooperate and provide assistance.
Action 4: In implementing the Plan of Action, States Parties should:
(a) Assess the needs of victims;
(b) Develop, implement and enforce any necessary national laws and policies;
(c) Develop in accordance with national procedures, a national plan and provision of adequate resources, including time frames to carry out these activities, with a view to incorporating them within as well as supporting applicable national disability, development and human rights frameworks and mechanisms, while respecting the specific role and contribution of relevant actors in the field of assistance and rehabilitation of victims of explosive remnants of war;
(d) Seek to mobilize national and international resources;
(e) Ensure that differences in treatment are based only on medical, rehabilitative, psychological or socio-economic needs;
(f) Closely consult with and involve victims and their representative organizations;
(g) Designate, in accordance with national procedures, a focal point within the government for the implementation of this Plan of Action; and
(h) Strive to incorporate relevant guidelines and good practices including in the areas of medical care, rehabilitation and psychological support, as well as social and economic inclusion. ‘
II. States Parties decided to exchange regularly information on the implementation of this Plan of Action.
III. States Parties decided to ‘review regularly the implementation of this Plan of Action’ to enable them to ‘assess progress and take appropriate decisions for further improving assistance for victims’.