Back

Barnahus model helps children who suffered sexual abuse from feeling like victims for a second time, say Council of Europe leaders

Council of Europe, Strasbourg 17/11/2022
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
  • Imprimer en PDF
Barnahus model helps children who suffered sexual abuse from feeling like victims for a second time, say Council of Europe leaders

Ahead of the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse marked on 18 November, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić and Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, have underlined the need to ensure child-friendly justice for child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation through developing Barnahus (Children’s House) structures in Europe.

Barnahus (Children’s House) is the leading European response model for child sexual abuse that coordinates parallel criminal and child welfare investigations, brings all relevant services under one roof, and thus helps avoid revictimisation of the child.

“When something goes wrong – so often beyond the child’s control – children need the support not of a faceless and fragmented state, but of a kind, coordinated and personal care that does not frighten, intimidate or alienate them, that does not make them feel like a victim all over again. And the Barnahus model has proven to be an effective justice response that fits the bill,” Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said. “In our newly launched Rome Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2022-2027, we have made it clear that we will continue to prioritise this model.”

The Barnahus model was first launched in Europe in Iceland in 1998. In 2015, the Council of Europe’s Committee of the parties to the convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Convention) has recognised the model as a promising practice, and since then, the Council of Europe has been supporting its member states in adapting and using it. With the Council of Europe and EU support, the first Children’s House facility was opened in May 2022 in Slovenia. Similar joint projects in Finland, Ireland and Spain are ongoing.

“The challenge is to ensure that there is a shared understanding of what the Barnahus is and how it should be run, in line with international human rights standards. To respond to this challenge, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child, with the support of Iceland, is currently developing a mapping of the existing Barnahus-type services across the continent”, the Secretary General noted.

Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, said:

“Iceland is truly proud to have pioneered the concept of Barnahus, which has been successfully exported to other European countries for almost a quarter of a century. Every child has the right to grow to adulthood in health, safety, peace and dignity, and it is imperative for all states to safeguard their rights. This is why Iceland has made the rights of children and young people a priority of its Presidency of the Council of Europe.”

“In this context, we are pleased to endorse the statement initiated by Andorra, Belgium, Monaco, San Marino, and Slovenia, and joined by 40 other member states of the Council of Europe and Mexico, supporting the implementation of the Barnahus model in Europe,” Committee of Ministers Chair concluded.

 

Armenia has been a party to the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse since 2021. See the Armenian text of the Convention.
Information materials in Armenian about children’s rights, including protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse

Lawyers and judges discussed the ways to improve their professional interaction

25/11/2022 Yerevan, Armenia

On 25 November an online event - joint meeting of judges and lawyers was organised to discuss the implementation of Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) Opinion no. 16 of 2013 on the relations between judges and lawyers. The event gathered participants from Armenia, Georgia, the...

Read More

Statement by Committee of Ministers Chair, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs

24/11/2022 PRESIDENCY OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

“On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I reaffirm Iceland’s steadfast commitment to gender equality and the protection of the hard-earned progress concerning the human rights of women and girls. Together, we must combat all forms of violence against women and...

Read More

Talking about fight against domestic violence and violence against women

25/11/2022 Yerevan, Armenia

According to civil society organizations, the hotline receives about three thousand calls about violence in Armenia every year. Anna Hovhannisyan, the consultant of the Council of Europe on gender equality issues presents in the podcast the causes, types of gender violence and possible ways to...

Read More

No to violence in the family

25/11/2022 Council of Europe

Violence has no place in the family. Violence and discrimination are fundamentally unacceptable. Often it is not possible to end the violence. Ending violence is not only a woman's problem. The state has an obligation and effective measures to protect, support and prevent further violence against...

Read More

Website of the Court of Cassation of Armenia launched and available online for public

22/11/2022 Council of Europe-Court of Cassation of Armenia

A website of the Court of Cassation was developed with the support of the Council of Europe and is available online since November 2022. The Council of Europe has been working closely with the Armenian judiciary to facilitate the effective implementation of European human rights standards, thus...

Read More

Concluding Event of “Asylum and Human Rights” course through “Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals” programme

22/11/2022 Yerevan-Strasbourg

On 22 November 2022, a closing event of the “Asylum and Human Rights” HELP/UNHCR course was organised jointly with Council of Europe, UNHCR Armenia and the UNHCR Representation to the European Institutions in Strasburg aimed to strengthen the capacity of lawyers, prosecutors, judges, public...

Read More

Barnahus model helps children who suffered sexual abuse from feeling like victims for a second time, say Council of Europe leaders

17/11/2022 Council of Europe, Strasbourg

Ahead of the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse marked on 18 November, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić and Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe,...

Read More

Secretary General in Berlin for the Opening Ceremony of the 8th World Congress against the Death Penalty

15/11/2022 Secretary general, Strasbourg

“Death is not justice. Capital punishment replaces justice with revenge. This has to be wrong – and it must be stopped”, said Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić in a panel discussion at the opening of the 8th World Congress against the Death Penalty which is held from 15-18 November in...

Read More

Iceland takes over Chairmanship of Committee of Ministers

09/11/2022 Committee of Ministers, Strasbourg

Iceland has taken over the rotating Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers from Ireland during a meeting with representatives of the Organisation’s 46 member states. The incoming Chair – Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir –...

Read More

Astrea Justice (Zimbabwe) wins Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award

World Forum For democracy, Strasbourg 09/11/2022

At the closing session of the 10th World Forum for Democracy, the Council of Europe announced that the winner of its 2022 Democracy Innovation Award was the Justice Code Foundation Trust (Zimbabwe) for its human rights remedy application Astrea Justice. The Justice Code Foundation Trust uses...

Read More