Panel participants at the event "Surviving Terrorism:Victims Voices"

Surviving Terrorism: Victims' Voices from Norway

UN Office of Counter-Terrorism release the first film in a documentary series aimed to show how surviving victims of terrorism can help shape effective strategies to counter terrorism and help other victims with their recovery.

The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism has commissioned a series of documentaries on victims of terrorism. Created together with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the series provides a platform to give victims a voice on a variety of issues. The first film in the series is “Surviving Terrorism: Victims’ Voices from Norway”, which offers an intimate portrayal of Kamzy Gunaratnam and Viljar Hanssen, two victims of the July 2011 mass killings by Anders Breivik at Utøya.

 Kamzy Gunaratnam, Viljar Hanssen and the director of the documentary recieved applause after the screening.

The documentary shows their lives as they recover from the attack and turn their experiences into something productive and positive by speaking up on behalf of victims of terrorism. Under the screening event of the documentary at the United Nation Head Quarter Thursday 10 November they used they used their strong voices to speak about giving victims the medical and psychological help they need to recover. Other victims of terrorism, member countries and the Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov, also attended the event.

Tore Hattrem adressed how Norway has responded to terrorism with solidarity and a broad approach concerning the support and rehabilitation of victims.

“Victims are powerful and credible messengers,” Vladimir Voronkov said at a roundtable discussion on victims’ resiliency after the screening of the documentary. The documentary series is an initiative to bring attention to United Nation’s work on victims of terrorism, including the UN Victims of Terrorism Support Portal created in 2014.

At the event, many of the survivors pointed out the need to gather information across borders to help survivors in the best way. “To better address tomorrow’s challenges, we must learn from each other through sharing experiences and best practices”, said Norway’s permanent representative to the UN, Tore Hattrem, as he encouraged other member states to contribute and take use of the portal.