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Sistema Spazio Giallo

Sistema Spazio Giallo

Together with Bambini Senza Sbarre Onlus to support children of detained persons.


In Italy, 100.000 children enter prison every year to visit detained mum or dad: the bond with their parents is fundamental for their growth path, despite the difficult circumstances. These children, however, are victims of discrimination and stigma, against which Bambini Senza Sbarre Onlus has been fighting for years, defending their right for a normal childhood.

How? With two main instruments, the Charter of Rights for Children of Detained Parents and the Yellow Space System. The Charter, stipulated in 2014, formally recognises the right of minors to the continuity of their affective bond with the detained parent and, at the same time, reaffirms the right to parenth: it’s the first document in the word that safeguards these children by transforming their needs into rights for which the institutions must take responsibility. The Sistema Spazio Giallo, on the other hand, is a working model that involves the prison and in particular the prison police in the activity of welcoming children, through specific training that focuses on the importance of the continuity of the affective bond between child and parents. The Spazio Giallo is also a place for children designed for them to mitigate the impact of a potentially traumatic environment.

Set up in the waiting room of the prison's visiting area, it’s a child-friendly space, a place to welcome and prepare for the meeting with the imprisoned parent: here, children are welcomed and assisted by professional operators, finding support for such a difficult moment.

In addition to the Spazio Giallo, over the years the Association has launched other collateral activities, in prison and outside, to support the children even more: individual interviews, accompanying services for minors with multi-problem families, dialogue sessions with the prison police and a telephone helpline, the Telefono Giallo.

With our support, Bambini Senza Sbarre will establish the Sistema Spazio Giallo, disseminating it throughout Italy through a series of guidelines and dissemination webinars. In addition, it will strengthen the Telefono Giallo service with specialised operators and the Yellow Spaces in Milan and Naples. Finally, two new Spazi Gialli will be created in southern Italy, in Matera and Foggia.

In the short term, the initiative aims to improve the family climate and create greater psychophysical well-being in children, which in the long term will lead to a reduction in juvenile delinquency and deviance: more serene children, even if their parents are in prison, who will become young adults more integrated into society.



Cities: Milan, Naples, Matera, Foggia

Association: Bambini Senza Sbarre Onlus

Beneficiaries: 500 children with a detained parent, 100 detained parents, 100 family members at large

Contribution: up to €140.000,00

Period: 1st of July 2022 - 31st of December 2023