Press release: 100 child rights experts and professionals gather to launch a unique European network for child-friendly support centres for child victims of violence

Child victims and witnesses of violence need rapid access to justice and care and protection from (re)traumatisation. The Icelandic Barnahus model is recognised as a best practice for providing child-friendly, professional and effective response under one roof and in a safe environment. The model has been promoted by the Council of Europe since 2015, and the same year the Children at Risk unit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States formally started to work on spreading the Barnahus model in Europe through the EU-funded programme PROMISE

Through training, exchanges, and the development of practical tools and information sharing, the Promise partnership and experts have developed a deep sense of partnership and mutual support, commitment and recognition. Stakeholders representing 26+ countries are now working together to formalise the PROMISE Barnahus Network, with the purpose ofgalvanizing continued and intensified support for the European Barnahus Movement, promote harmonisation and a consolidation of good Barnahus practice across Europe and build capacity to establish a competent and committed Barnahus workforce across Europe. Finland is a founding member of the network. 

To celebrate the European Barnahus collaboration and the first step towards a more formal network of Barnahus and similar services in Europe, 100 child rights experts and professionals will gather in Helsinki on the evening of 25 November to launch the PROMISE Barnahus Network. During the evening, there will be a ceremonial signing ceremony of the PROMISE Barnahus Network statutes, as well as an exhibition showcasing both high-level support for the network and the words of professionals and children alike about the impact of Barnahus.

“The Promise Barnahus Network is a celebration of the generosity and vibrant commitment across disciplines and countries who are sharing, learning, and working together to deliver excellence in practice for child victims and witnesses of violence. We are very proud to host the Promise Barnahus Network – a home for continued exchange, learning, innovation and advocacy to promote Barnahus and progress against the Barnahus Quality Standards in Europe and beyond.

Olivia Lind Haldorsson, Head of the Children at Risk unit, Council of the Baltic Sea States.

What: launching of the PROMISE Barnahus Network
Who: 100 experts and professionals from 25 different countries working on children’s rights
Where: Wanha Satama, Kanavakatu 5, Helsinki, Finland
When: Monday 25 November, 2019

Follow the event on social media: #EUBarnahus

Members of the press are welcome to cover the event. For more information, please contact:

Shawnna von Blixen, Programme Coordinator, Children at Risk Unit, [email protected]

Paulina Ek, Media and Communications Officer, [email protected]