21.10.2019 - - EJN
EJN Regional meeting on the BarnaHus Method of interviewing children in The Hague, 15 October 2019

Tuesday 15 October 2019, the Norwegian Embassy to the Netherlands, together with the Bulgarian and Norwegian EJN contact points Ivanka Kotorova and Hilde Stoltenberg, hosted an EJN regional meeting regarding the methodology on how to interview of children in serious criminal cases. The meeting was held at the Europol headquarters.

The main purpose of the meeting was to showcase the Norwegian BarnaHus model of interviewing children in criminal cases, but attendees also got the chance to hear about European judicial cooperation. After a short welcome address by the Norwegian Ambassador, Martin Sørby, Kotorova and Stoltenberg presented an example of bilateral cooperation – a case of sexual abuse on which Bulgarian and Norwegian authorities cooperated through a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), and where interviews of children were crucial for the case. EJN Secretary Ola Löfgren also attended the meeting and gave a presentation of EJN and its work.

Presenting the BarnaHus model was Prosecutor in the Norwegian police Line Thorsberg and national expert Tone Davik. Davik gave an in-depth explanation of the method developed by the Norwegian police when interviewing children who have been victims of a crime. The aim of the model is to obtain as accurate information as possible from the child, taking into account the trauma it has suffered and the stressful and potentially re-traumatizing elements of a police interview. The methodology is decisive when collecting evidence in challenging and complex cases with few witnesses, e.g. in cases regarding cybercrime and trafficking of human beings.

The presentation gave rise to a fruitful exchange of views and experiences, and attendees expressed their interest the subject matter.

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