At Thursday’s sitting, the Bill on Amendments to the Victim Support Act passed the second reading in the Riigikogu. It will re-organise the field of victim support. State victim support, the support centre service for victims of violence against women, and conciliation service will be provided for at the level of law.
The Bill on Amendments to the Victim Support Act (236 SE), initiated by the Government, will ensure better access to services for victims of human trafficking and sexually abused children. At the same time, the financing of the services will be re-organised so that they would be sustainable and high-quality.
The Bill describes the requirements for the women’s support centre service which includes both accommodation and various counsellings. The Social Insurance Board will organise the service in the future.
In assisting victims of trafficking in human beings, the aim is to provide assistance to victims not only during the criminal proceedings but also sufficiently early before the criminal proceedings, thereby enabling criminal offenders to be brought to justice more effectively. In regard to sexually abused minors, the aim is to ensure assistance to victims before the submission of a report on a criminal offence and, if necessary, also when criminal proceedings are not commenced.
Member of the Social Affairs Committee Liina Kersna said that the Social Affairs Committee had discussed the motions to amend the Bill at four sittings together with representatives of interest groups.
The Riigikogu supported the 15 motions to amend the Bill. The amendments concerned amendment of the Bill by adding the definition of psychotherapist service and violence against women, changing of the definition of victim of violence against women, and specification of the support centre service.
The Bill on Amendments to the State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act (202 SE), initiated by the Government, also passed the second reading in the Riigikogu. It provides for the transfer of the organisation and supervision of the protection of classified information of foreign states from the Ministry of Defence to the Estonian Information Board. The Ministry of Defence is aiming to reorganise the activities of its area of government so that as few as possible authorities would do duplicate work, and the Ministry would be released of functions not related to its principal activity.
Member of the Constitutional Committee Andres Anvelt explained that the main purpose of the Bill is to transfer the functions of the National Security Authority from the Ministry of Defence under the Estonian Information Board. “If the end goal is transfer under the Estonian Information Board, then the Bill sets out that “National Security Authority” means the structural unit of a governmental authority, designated by the Government of the Republic, assigned to organise and supervise the protection of classified information of foreign states. In the future, this would not be set out in the Act, but the Government would designate this authority by a Regulation, and this Regulation of the Government of the Republic will be the legal act established on the basis of this Act,” Anvelt said.
The Riigikogu supported the two motions to amend the Bill. One motion to amend concerned amendment of the State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act to enable items of information concerning communication systems of state authorities administered by governmental authorities to be classified at the ‘confidential’ or lower level. The other motion to amend set 1 January 2017 as the deadline for the entry into force of the Act.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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