Child poverty and well-being


In 2013, the European Commission released its Recommendation – ‘Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’. FRA is currently analysing existing secondary European level data on child poverty and well-being, following the indicators annexed in the Recommendation, from a fundamental rights perspective. This calls for the strengthening of evidence-based policy development. The analysis covers the situation of child poverty in 28 EU Member States. FRA’s work to highlight children who are at risk of multiple disadvantages and marginalisation, including groups such as Roma children, children with special needs or disabilities and street children, is part of its Annual Work Programme.


As stated in the EU Charter of Fundamental rights, all ‘children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being’. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that all should recognise ‘the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development’. The Commission recommended that Member States organise and implement policies that promote children’s well-being and address child poverty and social exclusion.

FRA’s secondary analysis of relevant data, which reflects the indicators included in the Commission’s recommendation “Investing in children”, will help to identify gaps in these indicators and/or in data availability. It will also suggest ways of strengthening the EU’s monitoring of actions and measures taken to respect, protect and fulfil child rights in respect to well-being and poverty.


For 2017, FRA is planning a report that will build upon the analysis of the data sources that populate a selection of the indicators found in “Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage”. FRA will provide suggestions for relevant rights-based indicators using existing EU and international research, as well as other possible data sources. The analysis will be based on the FRA’s Structure-Process-Outcome indicators framework, which follow the rights-based model developed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It is designed to measure:

  • Duty bearers’ commitments (structural indicators);
  • Efforts (process indicators) to fulfil these standards;
  • The results (outcome indicators).

This will help to show how human rights standards comply with policy measures with regards to child poverty and child well-being, as well as identify gaps in relation to the existing indicators and data sources. Based on this gap analysis and corresponding stakeholder consultation, fieldwork research may then follow. This would enable more to be learnt about the implementation of concrete measures and programmes and what actually works when trying to reduce the risk of children suffering poverty.