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France creates multi-agency committee to aid victims of terrorism

© François Guillot, AFP | A victim of the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks meets with a judge on May 24, 2016

Text by Charlotte BOITIAUX

Latest update : 2016-12-18

A new French committee aimed at providing co-ordinated administrative support to victims of terrorist attacks and their families was inaugurated Friday in Paris by a broad group of government agencies.

Juliette Méadel, state secretary for victims of terror attacks, announced the launch of Paris’s Local Support Committee for Victims of Terrorist Acts (CLSV) at the Paris prefecture.

She said the CLSV was “tailor-made” by various organisations including the City of Paris, the Paris prosecutor and the Paris police authorities as well as various social groups.

Its main purpose is to simplify "complex" cases by consolidating the medical, legal, administrative and financial issues that victims often face.

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“Psychological support, medical certificates, support in their return to work, legal proceeding— the CLSV will get this kind of aid to the people that need it faster," Méadel told FRANCE 24. “We’ll be there at the victims’ sides, to help them avoid complicated administrative paperwork,” she said.

Those present for the committee’s inauguration included Jean-François Carenco, state representative for the Ile-de-France region, Paris judge Jean-Michel Hayat, Paris prosecutor François Molins, and Colombe Brossel, a representative of the Paris mayor’s office. Members of victims’ organisations — including the National Federation of Victims of Attacks and Public Accidents, the French Association of Victims of Terrorism, the November-13 Brotherhood and Liberty group and Life for Paris — came as well. Also in attendance were representatives from two French agencies that provide financial support to victims of terror attacks: the Family Benefits Fund and the Guarantee Fund for Victims of Terrorism.

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'Avoid adding pain on top of pain'

“This is the first time that all these different public service agencies have come together in Paris, giving victims a unique way to solve all their questions and problems,” said Méadel. The CLSV will hopefully “simplify victims’ lives” in order to “avoid adding pain on top of pain”, she added. Ideally, the committee will meet every three months, but the schedule will be adapted according to the number of cases they are working on.

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The Paris CLSV, as its name indicates, will only deal with residents of the French capital. According to the Paris City Council, there have been 1,604 victims of terrorist attacks since the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks that killed 17 people. That number includes direct victims — those injured physically or psychologically — and indirect victims, those who are close friends or family of those killed in the attacks.

Ten similar agencies were set up throughout France in an August 3 government decree, which came less than a month after the Bastille Day attack in Nice.

Date created : 2016-12-18


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