Getting it right: ensuring child-friendly justice through Barnahus structures in Europe

Each year, the Council of Europe invites its partners to focus on a specific topic on the occasion of the European Day.

The 2022 edition of the European Day focuses on “Getting it right: ensuring child-friendly justice through Barnahus structures in Europe”. The Council of Europe partners with a wide audience to celebrate the European Day including member states, civil society organisations and national parliaments. This webpage provides access to the various initiatives organised by these partners (displayed below under Activities) allowing all to share their products to generate good practices.

Barnahus (Children’s House) is the leading European child-friendly multidisciplinary and interagency (MDIA) response model for child sexual abuse. Its unique approach brings together all relevant services under one roof, to avoid re-victimisation of the child during investigation and court proceedings and provide every child with a coordinated and effective response. The core purpose of Barnahus is to coordinate parallel criminal and child welfare investigations and help produce valid evidence for judicial proceedings by eliciting the child’s disclosure. The child victims and witnesses of violence also receive support and assistance, including medical evaluation and treatment, in a safe environment for children.


 Our tools

The Council of Europe is promoting the Barnahus model for a number of years now. In its 2015 implementation report dedicated to the protection of children against sexual abuse in the circle of trust, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Convention) identified the Icelandic Barnahus model as a promising practice example for a child-friendly multidisciplinary and interagency (MDIA) response. Over the past years, the Council of Europe has also developed several technical co-operation projects to assist member states in setting up such structures, in particular in Slovenia where the first Barnahus was inaugurated in May 2022. Other projects are in the doing in Finland, Ireland and Spain:

 Our communication tools


 In Council of Europe member states


 Other partners


 Council of Europe 

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