Tirana, 17 June 2020 – Now Albania has its first center of Barnahus. The National Center for the Protection of Children and Adolescents from Sexual Violence (ACA), a member of the PROMISE network since March 2020, has changed its name to adjust it to the model that is implementing: Barnahus Albania. The center offers coordinated services for the protection of children and young people victims of sexual violence and exploitation. Like all its sisters in Europe, it will work to serve to children who are victims of sexual violence, in a child-friendly and safe place, with the hope that the interview of the child will take place only once and the material generated during this interview can be used across the law enforcement and justice system.
Barnahus Albania provides free of charge services to children and young people victims of sexual violence or exploitation and their families, such as trauma treatment, crisis management, and ongoing psychological and legal support.
Starting from September until the end of this year, Barnahus Albania experts will work to implement most of the approach and the methodology. Meanwhile, from 2021, the international experts from different Barnahuses, based in Sweden, will conduct professional training of university level in the fields of forensic interviewing, counseling and therapy, within the PROMISE Network program, for the staff, experts and partners of Barnahus Albania.
Promise, is a pan-European network that works to turn national commitments into direct action and international engagements into genuine processes. Albania became part of Promise 3, which is also supported by the EU, and which aims to extend the Barnahus model throughout Europe by implementing all the standards required for the protection and care of children victims of violence and sexual exploitation.
The network offers a functional and inter-institutional cooperation ensuring that child victims and witnesses of sexual violence benefit from a friendly and effective help and response to them, professionally but also effectively, in a safe environment, which prevents trauma to victims.
Sexual violence and exploitation of children is an unacceptable reality. According to the largest study on violence against children in Europe (BECAN), about 11% of children in Albania are victims of sexual violence and harassment, while INSTAT’s National Survey "Violence against women and girls in Albania" reported that about 15% of girls aged 18-24 were experiencing sexual violence. The Economist Intelligence UNIT Global Index "Out of Shadows", in its analysis of over 40 countries, gave Albania a low ranking due to the lack of mechanisms to protect children from sexual exploitation and violence.
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