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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to reinforce efficient and high quality public administrations

Ensure child-friendly justice through effective operation of the Barnahus-units in Finland  

The project aims to ensure that all children in Finland involved in child abuse investigations benefit from a high-quality assessment in child-friendly settings, appropriate psychosocial support and child protective services. The project will contribute to the judicial reform in Finland, with the purpose of improving the access and quality of the justice system for child victims of violence in Finland.  

Context 

In 2019, Finland initiated its own nationwide Barnahus project to be implemented around the core of five university hospital expert units specialising in forensic psychology/psychiatry (Barnahus-units). The TSI project sets to support the Finnish authorities in addressing the needs and challenges identified since the launch of their national project so as to reduce significant existing delays in the pre-trial and judicial processes involving children. 

Support delivered 

The technical support will be delivered through:  

  1. situational analysis, covering all aspects of children protection: stakeholder mapping, processes in place, governance of the system, legislative review, assessment of tools and training in place, identification of gaps, assessment of the quality of services and information to children, ICT environment;  
  2. recommendation report along with a detailed action plan,  
  3. development of tools, guidelines, procedures to guide the work of professionals; and  
  4. development of an information and awareness campaign for children.  

The project is implemented by the Council of Europe's Children's Rights Division. 

Results achieved 

The project will contribute to the judicial reform in Finland, with the purpose of improving the access and quality of the justice system for child victims of violence in Finland in line with provisions of the Lanzarote Convention, EU Directives on Child Sexual Abuse (2011/93/EU) and Victims’ Rights (2012/29/EU) as well as promising practices from other countries on child-friendly justice. 

More about the project