New: Legal briefing about the intersection of criminal justice and child protection proceedings involving child victims of violence

At the Crossroads: Exploring changes to criminal justice proceedings when they intersect with child protection proceedings in cases involving child victims of violence

European law provisions relating to child victims in criminal proceedings take the form of general obligations, leaving it to national measures to regulate in detail how safeguards for children should be implemented in national procedures. Although there are different models of criminal justice (and child protection) proceedings across Europe, they face common questions on how best to fulfill their obligations to children and can benefit from regional exchange and the experience of practitioners.

Progress often takes place in incremental steps and will have different pathways in different jurisdictions. Stakeholders and professionals involved in both child protection and criminal justice proceedings typically need to work together closely to identify opportunities for both immediate and more long-term change and consequently,

To support this work, this paper contains:

  1. Key European law safeguards for child victims in criminal proceedings
  2. General orientations on adaptations to the criminal proceedings, taking account of the child protection proceedings
  3. Illustrative national practices concerning specific safeguards to be achieved in the criminal proceedings
  4. Conclusion and resources on processes which have triggered change to criminal proceedings

This is a living document. Please contribute to our effort to compile useful regional resources by sharing input and resources with us.

Barnahus roadmap guidance and template

The Barnahus roadmap guidance and template gives inspiration on how to document and communicate the vision and strategy towards establishing, operating and developing the Barnahus model in a simple and accessible format.

Hot tip: aspiring PROMISE Barnahus Network members should look closely at this document and start thinking about how to present the past, present, and future efforts of your service.

Factsheet: Considerations for evidence recording at the Barnahus

There is much more to recording interviews at a Barnahus than setting up a system and hitting record. To best perform its role, a Barnahus must comply with local/international rules and regulations of evidence recording, and be able to produce a recorded interview that holds up to scrutiny in court. See also the webinar introducing the factsheet, and which is essential watching for anyone engaged in setting up the interview room at a Barnahus or similar setup.

New: Interagency agreement template and guidance

Supporting Barnahus Quality Standard 2, the Interagency agreement template and guidance offers inspiration and guidance for drafting an interagency agreement which formalises multidisciplinary and interagency (MDIA) team collaboration between agencies involved in Barnahus. Interagency agreements are shaped by law, policy, procedures and the way that the participating agencies function in a specific country, region or local community. In some cases, financial and human resources determine the scope and function of the Barnahus. The formulation of the interagency agreement should therefore always be done on the basis of a careful analysis of the national situation, including law, policy and resources that might shape the different elements covered by the agreement.

See also The Barnahus Quality Standards page on this website.

The Barnahus Standards represent the first attempt in Europe to define the principles of the interventions and services referred to as the “Barnahus” model. The key purpose of the standards is to provide a common operational and organisational framework that promotes practices which prevents retraumatisation, while securing valid testimonies for Court, and complies with children’s rights to protection, assistance and child-friendly justice.

The Standards are currently being translated into Bulgarian, Estonian, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian and Swedish. All language versions will be published here.

Would you like to translate the standards into your own national language? Please contact us to find out more about format, accreditation and copyright.

A 51-page summary is available as a PDF and also an e-book.

This report provides an overview of how the Barnahus model has emerged and gradually expanded in Europe. It documents how government officials, practitioners, advocates and entrepreneurs have promoted the model, unyielding even when confronted with doubts, obstacles and adversities. The report identifies the factors and dynamics that have enabled the establishment of the Barnahus model and lessons learned. The accounts from Barnahus pioneers and leading agents of change offer reflections and observations that can guide the establishment of the Barnahus model in other countries.
The PROMISE Compendium of Law & Guidance provides a comprehensive view of the legal framework and authoritative guidance concerning the rights of child victims and witnesses across the EU, Council of Europe and United Nations (UN). It shows that, in the last ten years, there have been significant developments concerning State obligations to child victims and witnesses of violence at European Union (EU), regional and international level. Policy makers, legal, social and law enforcement professionals and stakeholders can use the PROMISE Compendium, alone and with the other PROMISE resources, to support their work in this field.

This is a tool to track progress against the European Barnahus Quality Standards, which provide a good practice framework for multidisciplinary and interagency services that want to bring their practice in line with the Barnahus model. The aim of the tracking tool is to provide services for child victims and witnesses of violence with a self-evaluation tool that can help determine their position in the process of becoming a multidisciplinary and interagency service consistent with the Barnahus model.

Translations available: Swedish

This Guidance aims to help you develop national and regional advocacy strategies to promote progress on Barnahus. Such advocacy can play a vital role in encouraging improvements to responses concerning child victims and witnesses of violence. Once policymakers, professionals and the public have heard and understood how Barnahus can fulfill the rights of these children, support for the Barnahus model has consistently grown.

The report is a basic and informative database of key stakeholders throughout Europe. Most Services that contributed to the report deliver and/or strive for Multi-Disciplinary Inter-Agency Teamwork. The document enables contact and exchange of information. It is the first out of many deliverables of the PROMISE project meant to support establishing Barnahus-like initiatives all over Europe.