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Towards Barnahus in All European States; Ensuring the rights of every child

Strasbourg 14 November 2022
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Towards Barnahus in All European States; Ensuring the rights of every child

As every year since 2015, the Council of Europe celebrates the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (18 November). This year’s theme of the European Day is “Getting it right: ensuring child-friendly justice through Barnahus structures in Europe”.

On 16 November, on the occasion of the European Day, a high-level event on Barnahus model will be organised by the Council of Europe and the Council of the Baltic Sea States, under the Icelandic Presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.

The event will bring together high-level key international actors with the aim to explore the Barnahus concept, including what works, opportunities for improvement, and potential adjustments to national legal frameworks. Minister of Education and Children of Iceland on behalf of the Presidency Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, and Director General of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat Grzegorz M Poznański will address the event in opening session, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children Najat Maalla M'jid will deliver a keynote speech.

Barnahus (Children’s House) is the leading European response model for child sexual abuse, promoted as a promising practice by the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Committee). Its unique inter-agency approach brings together all relevant services under one roof to avoid re-victimisation of the child and provides every child with a coordinated and effective response. The core purpose of Barnahus is to coordinate parallel criminal and child welfare investigations and support protection, recovery and justice for child victims and witnesses of violence in a child-friendly and safe environment.


  Draft programme