Victim and Witness Protection Cooperation

At the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA VII) held in April 2008, the OAS member states were recommended to review their domestic laws and enforcement mechanisms with a view towards modernizing the tools to combat current and emerging transnational organized crime challenges. To assist the OAS member states to that end, the following recommendation was made regarding witness and victim protection to the Secretariat of Legal Affairs of the OAS General Secretariat:

“Prepare a study which would include proposals to facilitate cooperation between interested states in the area of protection of victims and witnesses, and submit it for consideration at the next meeting of the Working Group on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition.”

This study was presented by the OAS General Secretariat at the Fourth Meeting of the Working Group on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition, held March 31, April 1-2, 2009 in San Salvador, El Salvador, and based on it, the following recommended to the Technical Secretariat of the REMJA:

  • Compile legislation and other measures enacted by OAS member states regarding witness and victim protection and to make that information available to the states through the Criminal Matter Network;
  • Publish and update a directory of authorities directly responsible for witness and protection programs in OAS member states.