UNODC and Department of Social Development to commemorate 10 years of victim empowerment

By | 12 August 2008

From 18 – 20 August 2008, the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) and the South African Department of Social Development host a conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) in South Africa.

The conference is to be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, and will involve 520 delegates from NGO’s, and Government stakeholders from all Departments on both a national and provincial level. The Deputy Minister for Social Development, Dr. Jean Swanson-Jacobs will deliver the keynote address, and in partnership with UNODC, Dr. Swanson-Jacobs and her provincial counterpart, Social Development MEC Meshack Hadebe will officiate the conference. UNODC’s Executive Director, Under Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa will address the conference.

The Programme, funded by the European Commission and implemented jointly by UNODC and the Department of Social Development, focuses on promoting a victim centred-approach to crime prevention and strives towards developing a deeper knowledge of victim issues, strengthening resources, and addressing the needs of victims and stimulating volunteer participation and taking the concerns of victims seriously.

Specifically, the VEP places emphasis on prevention of victimisation, providing support, protection, and empowerment for victims of crime and violence, with a special focus on vulnerable groups. In this way, secondary victimisation is reduced, co-operation with criminal justice process is encouraged, socially desirable behaviour is reinforced and offenders and potential offenders are deterred.

Accredited media are invited to cover the event on Monday 18 August 2008 from 10h00

For interviews and press RSVPs, accredited media are requested to contact the media focal person for the event, Ms. Zingaphi Jakuja, Deputy Director: Media & National Liaison at the Department of Social Development:

Mobile: 074-197-8383

For further enquiries on the VEP and UNODC’s work in this area, please contact Kevin Town, Programme Associate: Advocacy & Communications at UNODC:

Mobile: 071-688-3760

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