Press Release

A response to sexual abuse: UNICEF helps Albania introduce Barnhaus model of service

27 December 2022

UNICEF Albania launched in two Regions the first services for the immediate response to children’s victims of sexual abuse and other severe forms of violence.

Setting up specialized interdisciplinary services where the intervention of the different agencies is coordinated around the child is a milestone for UNICEF.

Serious cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation continue to come to public attention almost on weekly basis marking a continual increase. 

The service model is based on the Barnhaus Quality Standards, as well as and standards of similar services in Europe, embedded in the health system, promoting practices that prevent (re)traumatization and are in accordance with the rights of children to protection, assistance and justice tailored to children's needs, as well as cooperating with the justice institutions in criminal proceeding relative to children's testimony.

The centres will provide 24/7 immediate response, core specialized services to the children victims of sexual abuse and other severe forms of violence. Interventions will be adapted to the complex needs and situations of each child. Multidisciplinary individual assessment and adaptation of interventions are at the core of this model of service. This model is child friendly, brings stakeholders under one roof to avoid child revictimization, and sets the basis for coordinated case management always preserving the child's best interest, ensuring child participation, and preventing any undue delay. 

For more information, please contact: Ada Shkurtaj, Child Protection Officer,

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative