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Reform Support
Barnahus project in the regions of Spain banner

Supporting reforms to reinforce efficient and high quality public administrations

Funding Programme
  • 2022

Strengthening child-friendly justice through effective co-operation and coordination among different Barnahus-type services in Spain

The European Commission supports the project aimed at ensuring all children in Spain involved in child abuse investigations benefit from a high-quality assessment in child-friendly settings, appropriate psychosocial support and child protective services.  


The Barnahus Project, which builds on the initial concept of Barnahus developed in Iceland, is designed to help the EU Member States protect children victims and witnesses of violence. The concept is to gather under one same physical roof the parallel processed of the justice system and of the child welfare in suspected cases of child abuse.

The model is designed to coordinate the justice, police, medical and social administrations under the principle of equal access to justice of vulnerable groups and children-welfare investigations in a safe environment. Through this integrated approach one reaches different objectives: reducing the level of anxiety of the child by providing an efficient “one-day interaction” with the justice system and avoiding the “re-victimisation” by subjecting children to repeated interviews by many agencies in different locations or, for instance, due to years’ long gaps between the moment of the event(s) and their processing in Courts.

Owing to its success, the Barnahus model is currently carried out in Croatia, Finland, Ireland Slovenia and Spain, and is serving as a model to be replicated in other EU Member States.

Support delivered

The technical support contributes to map the state of play, both at national and regional level, to define the existing practices, identify the current issues and assess the needs of each region. Following this mapping, the project will draft recommendations and develop both a Strategy and an Action Plan that will allow scaling up the Barnahus operations in the other regions of Spain.

The Project will also develop tools, training programmes and capacity building activities that will contribute to improving the capacity, efficiency and coordination of professionals involved in cases of violence against children, including child sexual abuse, and to harmonise a high-quality response to child sexual abuse across the Spanish regions.

Project state of play

The Barnahus Project kicked-off in Spain on 26 October 2022.

Moreover, on 10 February 2023 the first awareness raising activity under the project was organised in the form of a conference in Madrid.

This conference gathered international, national and regional stakeholders working in Europe and in Spain to improve the national and regional response to child sexual violence. The conference was also an occasion to discuss the implementation of the Barnahus model in the different territories of Spain.

Expected results

Through the Technical Support instrument, the European Commission is supporting the adaptation and implementation of the Barnahus model in four pilot regions.

Barnahus is funded by the European Union via the Technical Support Instrument and co-funded and implemented by the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the European Commission.

More about the Project

You can find out more about the Barnahus projects in other Member States:

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