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.

Child rights for children

Information for children about child rights including:

Latest news View all

12/02/2017

Standards for protecting migrant children

The Agency took part in the first meeting of the Council of Europe’s drafting group responsible for developing standards on age assessment and guardianship for children in the context of migration.
Tighten fingerprinting safeguards for migrant children, suggests FRA
25/01/2017

Tighten fingerprinting safeguards for migrant children, suggests FRA

The proposal to revise the rules governing the EU’s large-scale biometrics database, Eurodac, may jeopardise or enhance the rights of migrant children, suggests the latest Opinion from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It examines the impact on children and suggests greater emphasis on child protection. It reveals how this particularly vulnerable group needs stronger child protection safeguards to ensure they are not coerced to give fingerprints, they understand what is happening to them and their right to asylum is not affected.
19/01/2017

Promoting child rights and professional training

The Agency gave a presentation on the contribution of European standards to implementing the UN’s Child Rights Convention during a conference on the promotion of children’s rights and professional training, organised by Centro de Estudos para Intervenção Social (CESIS).

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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: 
Ongoing

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

Current migration situation in the EU: separated children - December 2016
December
2016

Current migration situation in the EU: separated children - December 2016

Paper
Although official figures on the phenomenon are lacking, it is clear that children arriving in the European Union (EU) are often accompanied by persons other than their parents or guardians. Such children are usually referred to as ‘separated’ children. Their identification and registration bring additional challenges, and their protection needs are often neglected. On arrival, these children are often ‘accompanied’, but the accompanying adult(s) may not necessarily be able, or suitable, to assume responsibility for their care. These children are also at risk of exploitation and abuse, or may already be victims. Their realities and special needs require additional attention. The lack of data and guidance on separated children poses a serious challenge. This focus section outlines the specific protection needs of separated children, and highlights current responses and promising practices among EU Member States.
Fundamental Rights Report 2016
May
2016

Fundamental Rights Report 2016

Annual report
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015. Some of these efforts produced important progress; others fell short of their aims. Meanwhile, various global developments brought new – and exacerbated existing – challenges.
Fundamental Rights Report 2016 - FRA opinions
May
2016

Fundamental Rights Report 2016 - FRA opinions

Annual report
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2016 summarises and analyses major developments in the fundamental rights field, noting both progress made and persisting obstacles. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions. In so doing, it provides a compact but informative overview of the main fundamental rights challenges confronting the EU and its Member States.