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.

Latest news View all

13/07/2018

Heads of Europol and FRA meet in The Hague

On 5 July, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty discussed with the Executive Director of Europol, Catherine de Bolle, enhanced cooperation between the two Agencies.
The fundamental rights of older people need to be better protected
06/06/2018

The fundamental rights of older people need to be better protected

Nearly 60% of Europeans consider being old a disadvantage when looking for work. Societies often view older people as burdens. Too often we overlook the basic human rights of our older people. This year, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in its 2018 Fundamental Rights Report explores how a rights-based approach towards respect for older people is starting to happen.
01/06/2018

FRA joins World Congress on Justice for Children

The Agency hosted a workshop on age ranges in judicial practices for children and young adults during the World Congress on Justice for Children in Paris which ran from 28 to 29 May.

Latest projects View all

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.

Latest publications View all

Fundamental Rights Report 2018
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of rights protection. The European Pillar of Social Rights marked an important move towards a more ‘social Europe’. But, as experiences with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights underscore, agreement on a text is merely a first step. Even in its eighth year as the EU's binding bill of rights, the Charter's potential was not fully exploited, highlighting the need to more actively promote its use.
Fundamental Rights Report 2018 - FRA opinions
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018 - FRA opinions

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 reviews major developments in the EU between January and December 2017, and outlines FRA’s opinions thereon.
Age assessment and fingerprinting of children in asylum procedures – Minimum age requirements concerning children’s rights in the EU
April
2018

Age assessment and fingerprinting of children in asylum procedures – Minimum age requirements concerning children’s rights in the EU

Report
The methods used to determine the age of an applicant may include “invasive” medical tests which interfere with the rights of the child, including their right to dignity, integrity and privacy. It is often a challenge to find the right balance between protecting children from harm and promoting their participation in these procedures. This report provides important insights and identifies the implications of collecting children’s biometric data and conducting age assessments.