Rights of the child

Although the European Union has a number of mechanisms for protecting rights specific to children, many young people are not aware of the existence of any specific services and resources they can turn to, beyond family, friends or teachers, if they are in difficulty.

FRA began its work on the rights of the child immediately after its establishment in 2007 by developing indicators to measure respect for and the promotion of children’s rights in the EU. On the basis of these indicators, FRA has collected data and published reports on child trafficking and on asylum-seeking children who have become separated from their families. The research found that these children are frequently ill-informed about their rights and often feel the asylum procedures are too long, exacerbating the fear and insecurity they were already suffering.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by all the EU member states. The EU also has an obligation to promote the protection of the rights of the child, in line with the Treaty on European Union. In 2006, the European Commission proposed a strategy for protecting the rights of the child, and in 2011 adopted the ‘EU Agenda for the rights of the child’.

According to Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, children have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. Their views must be taken into account on matters that concern them, and a child’s best interest must be a primary consideration in any action taken relating to them. Other articles of the charter devote specific articles to child protection, such as the prohibition of child labour.

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Status: 
Ongoing

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.
Status: 
Findings available

Migration detention of children

FRA is conducting desk research on immigration detention of children – both unaccompanied and children with their parents or guardian. The research covers children in asylum or in immigration/return procedures and covers all EU Member States.

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Mapping minimum age requirements concerning the rights of the child in the EU
November
2017

Mapping minimum age requirements concerning the rights of the child in the EU

Report
International treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, European Union (EU) secondary law and national legislation provide a number of rights to citizens. The maps and tables presented show the various patterns concerning age requirements for children to acquire rights in the EU. They also identify inconsistencies, protection gaps and restrictions deriving from different age thresholds. The aim is to assist EU Member States in addressing these issues and to facilitate the EU in exercising its competence to support and coordinate Member States’ actions related to children and youth.
European legal and policy framework on immigration detention of children
June
2017

European legal and policy framework on immigration detention of children

Report
Up to one third of migrants arriving in the European Union since the summer of 2015 have been children. The current emphasis on speedier asylum processing and making returns more effective may trigger increased use of immigration detention, possibly also affecting children. The detention of children implicates various fundamental rights and will only be in line with EU law if limited to exceptional cases. This report aims to support practitioners in implementing relevant polices in line with applicable law by outlining available safeguards against unlawful and arbitrary detention and highlighting promising practices.
Fundamental Rights Report 2017
May
2017

Fundamental Rights Report 2017

Annual report
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.