Inadequate assistance to victims of crime Undue consideration for criminals Legal bias against complainants of crime Legal indifference to victims of crime Legal discrimination in favour of offenders Prejudicial treatment of plaintiffs in criminal cases
In order to protect society, the main emphasis of legal systems traditionally has been upon the detection of crime and the punishment of the offender. More enlightened programmes aim to support the offender in an effort to prevent recidivism. Very little attention, however, has been paid, either by voluntary or by statutory bodies, to assess and supply the needs of the victim of crime. The main role of the victim at law has been as a source of evidence to secure a conviction against the offender, yet he or she may deserve restitution or recompense, and may also require legal, medical, psychiatric or social welfare assistance as a result of the crime. While the problems of victims, or likely victims, may be referred to incidentally, there has as yet been no concerted attempt to bring together and elaborate the measures needed on their behalf and to develop further approaches and techniques designed to improve their plight. International conventions do not presently articulate explicit rights to protection, reparation or justice for victims of crime.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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