International Victimology Institute Tilburg

INTERVICT promotes and executes interdisciplinary research that can contribute to a comprehensive, evidence-based body of knowledge on the empowerment and support of victims of crime and abuse of power.

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Research projects INTERVICT

The Criminal Justice Response on Victims of Traffic Offences

Researchers

  • Suzan van der Aa
  • Kim Lens
  • Marc Groenhuijsen
  • Peter van der Velden

Commissioned by

Summary

This project is sponsored by the Dutch Fund for Victim Support (Fonds Slachtofferhulp).  The Fund for Victim Support has the impression that the criminal justice reaction to traffic offences is too ‘soft’ in comparison to the reaction to ‘regular’ offences. With the help of an analysis of legislation, case law and scholarly research, we try to establish how the public prosecution service and the courts have interpreted various legal concepts in relation to traffic offences (e.g., ‘recklessness’) in practice, and to what extent their interpretation is in line with the intention of the legislator. In addition, we will empirically assess the victims’ satisfaction with the manner in which the criminal justice system has handled their case.

Status

In progress. Scheduled date of completion June 2016

Sources of Stress for Bereaved of MH17 Victims

Researchers

  • Peter van der Velden
  • Erik van der Meulen

Commissioned by

  • Fonds Slachtofferhulp

Summary

The MH17 disaster (July 2014) caused the death of 298 people. In total, 193 out of 298 were of Dutch origin. To optimize the aftercare for the bereaved, a longitudinal study is conducted focussing on the mental health and care utilization, coping self-efficacy, experiences with received care and media exposure, daily and persistent disaster-related stressors.

Participants in this study are bereaved as well health, legal and law enforcement personnel.  

Scheduled date of completion

  • 1 February 2017

Inclusive Actors for Development Project

Researchers

  • Felix Ndahinda
  • Morag Goodwin

Commissioned by

  • NWO-WOTRO

Summary

Historically a hunter-gatherer community, the Batwa are the most vulnerable social group in Rwanda. This community has been marginalized in Rwanda with respect to education, housing, health, labour and property ownership (including access to land). Land and resource grabbing by members of other communities (Hutu and Tutsi) have aggravated Batwa exclusion.

This research project is investigating why in spite of official acknowledgement of Batwa vulnerability, attempts to remedy Batwa marginalization have not so far succeeded.

The key research hypothesis is that the framing of Batwa identity by a variety of actors at the local, national, regional and international levels constitutes a barrier to Batwa participation in development processes and plays a determining role in their persistent marginality and disempowerment.

Scheduled date of completion

  • 1 February 2017

Stories of Justice and Injustice: exploring Victims (NWO-VENI)

Researchers

  • Antony Pemberton
  • Pauline van Eck-Aarten
  • Eva Mulder
  • Irma Cleven

Commissioned by

  • NWO-VENI

Summary

A key victimological topic concerns victims’ perspectives on justice in the aftermath of crime and in particular the extent to which criminal justice meets victims justice needs. Previous research viewed victim satisfaction with the process as key to gauge the match between justice processes and victims interests, while more recently investigators have adopted various measures of therapeutic impact.

This proposal adopts a different approach. In line with recent developments in personality psychology, it recognizes the importance of personal narratives that individuals construct to make meaning and identity in the modern world. From this theoretical perspective the proposal draws its key notion that victims process their experience of crime and the justice reactions to crime through narrative.

The central question is to which extent and in which way do justice processes influence victims’ narratives of their experience? This question is queried through two concurrent subprojects. The first develops an approach developed by Baumeister and colleagues (1990) in which participants offer written narrative accounts of transgressions they have experienced (or committed). This approach is extended to include different justice-related reactions: apology, forgiveness and punishment.

In addition a qualitative field study of victims experiences with criminal justice is conducted. The victimisation and life narratives are analysed of co-victims of homicide, victims of non-fatal violence, participants in victim impact statements and restorative justice processes, before and after the outcome of the case/ the procedure. Does resolution of the criminal case matter for victims’ narratives? And does the importance depend on the victimisation experience and/ or extent of participation?

Scheduled date of completion

  • 7 February 2017

Protection of Labour Migrants in The Netherlands

Researchers

  • Conny Rijken
  • Lisa Berntsen
  • Tesseltje de Lange

Commissioned by

  • Instituut GAK

Summary

Arbeidsmigratie, zowel vanuit andere EU landen als van landen daarbuiten, naar Nederland, is niet meer weg te denken van onze arbeidsmarkt. Sommigen maken daarbij gebruik van het vrij verkeer van werknemers en diensten binnen de EU anderen verrichten arbeid zonder daarvoor een werkvergunning te hebben of zelfs zonder een legale verblijfsstatus in Nederland. Voor beide groepen vormen misbruik en uitbuiting een serieuze bedreiging terwijl zij een belangrijke bijdrage leveren aan onze arbeidsmarkt en aan de economie.

Deze disbalans tussen de behandeling van arbeidsmigranten en hun waarde voor de Nederlandse arbeidsmarkt en economie hebben aanleiding gegeven tot het onderzoek ‘De schaduwzijde van de Nederlandse arbeidsmarkt’ waarin de positie van de arbeidsmigrant aan de onderkant van de arbeidsmarkt en centraal staat met als doel een bijdrage te leveren aan de verbetering van diens positie middels het inzichtelijk maken van de arbeids- en mensenrechtelijke problemen.

Dit is verwoord in de volgende onderzoeksvraag: Op welke wijze kan een juiste balans worden gevonden tussen de arbeidsrechtelijke mogelijkheden van een vrije markteconomie binnen de EU en de bescherming van de (ongedocumenteerde) arbeidsmigrant?

Onderzoek zal worden verricht op vier terreinen:

  • Nieuwe arbeidsconstructies tussen arbeidsmigranten met name uit andere EU landen en werkgevers lijken erop gericht Nederlands arbeidswetgeving te omzeilen ten koste van de arbeidsmigrant. Onderzocht wordt in hoeverre constructies als payrolling, contracting en draaideurflex zijn toegestaan met inachtneming van de Europese context. Tot nu toe geeft de rechtspraak geen duidelijk beeld, lijkt Europese wetgeving dergelijke vormen te vergemakkelijken en zelfs te stimuleren, en heeft de werkgever geen duidelijkheid over zijn mogelijkheden voor tewerkstelling van arbeidsmigranten.
  • Het negeren van de rechten van de arbeidsmigrant kan leiden tot misbruik en uitbuiting. Binnen het spanningsveld van uitbuiting, arbeidsmarktbehoeften en het tegengaan van illegaal verblijf, lijkt het laatste te prevaleren. Het onderzoek is erop gericht het spanningsveld binnen de genoemde driehoeksverhouding in kaart te brengen en te doorbreken door het verkrijgen van meer inzicht in de rol die de arbeidsmigrant vervult en het creëren van een mogelijkheid voor een menswaardig bestaan.
  • De omvang van de huidige groep ongedocumenteerden in Nederland is onbekend. Ook de mate waarin hun rechten als werknemers worden nageleefd is niet bekend. Repressieve maatregelen tegen ongedocumenteerden of werkgevers die hen in dienst hebben, zijn maar ten dele succesvol en miskennen de noodzaak voor arbeidsmigratie voor dit soort werk. Het onderzoek wil deze groep in beeld brengen en op basis daarvan aanbevelingen doen voor het verbeteren van de positie van deze kwetsbare groep.
  • Als laatste stellen we de vraag of verplaatsbare arbeid waarin veel arbeidsmigranten werken op de lange termijn een plaats heeft binnen de Nederlandse economie. Bij ontkennende beantwoording is de vervolgvraag hoe de Nederlandse regering verplaatsing kan stimuleren en tegelijkertijd kan bijdragen aan de Nederlandse kenniseconomie.

Scheduled date of completion

  • 31 December 2017

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A Waste of Time or No Time to Waste (NWO-VIDI)

Researchers

  • Rianne Letschert
  • Anthony Pemberton
  • Pauline van Eck-Aarten
  • Alina Balta
  • Manon Bax

Commissioned by

  • NWO-VIDI

Summary

The international right to reparation aims to alleviate the suffering of victims of international crimes or serious human rights violations. This should contribute to justice and help the reconstruction process of societies that struggle after war, internal conflict and/or political violence. International criminal justice institutions (ICJ) and international human rights procedures (IHRP) were set up to process the right to reparation.

However, neither the impact of the right to reparation on the experience of victims of atrocities nor the mechanisms by which this impact is supposed to be reached have been subjected to much scrutiny; this proposal fills that gap.

It will do so by a three-layered set up.

First, through legal analysis it aims to comprehensively assess the core legal and procedural aspects of ICJ and IHRP relating to reparations.

Second, four case studies relating to four international procedures will determine

  1. how an arrangement focused view of justice (niti) relates to a realization focused view of justice (nyaya) in the right to reparations, and as a corollary, does striving for niti increase or decrease nyaya in the right to reparations?; 
  2. the backward and forward looking functions of ICJ and IHRP;
  3. the impact of ICJ and the IHRP on beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries; and
  4. the contribution of ICJ and IHRP to societal development.

Third, the synthesis will provide much needed insight in the parameters of a reparative justice framework, aiming to identify and develop approaches to optimize such framework.

This knowledge can be used in many settings in the world, where the struggle for reparation will pose huge challenges (think of the ongoing conflicts in the MENA region, the Ukraine and on the African continent).

Scheduled date of completion 

  • 1 September 2020

Measuring resilience among police officers

Researchers

  • Kim Janssens MSc (INTERVICT)
  • Dr. Ruben Taris (Politie Academie)
  • Prof. dr. Marc van Veldhoven (TS Social and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Human Resource Studies)
  • Prof. dr. Peter van der Velden (INTERVICT)

Commissioned by

  • Politieacademie

Summary

People who want to work in the police, must go through an extensive assessment after their application. The assessment procedure is required by law and determines whether candidates fulfill the occupational profile and behavioral skills of police officers. Candidates are tested on their cognitive abilities, physical condition, personality and psychological health. This study is a validation study and focusses on the recruitment of police officers and the resilience of officers. The study is aimed to investigate the predictive value of the selection tools that measure resilience in the professional field during the assessment. First, literature and field research aims to identify which criterion variables are relevant in relation to resilience among police officers in the professional practice. After one year, a follow-up of the research will be decided.

Status

  • After one year (in July 2017), a follow-up of the research will be decided.