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:

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19/08/2015

Initial data from mapping child protection systems in French and German

Data on national child protection systems in 28 EU Member States has now also been made available online in French and German. FRA carried out the mapping to understand how the systems work, and to identify common challenges and promising practices in all Member States.
12/08/2015

Help protect young LGBTI people from violence and discrimination

This year’s International Youth Day is a good time to remind us of the suffering many young lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people face daily. FRA research has revealed high levels of discrimination and violence towards young LGBTI people, underlining the need for targeted responses to put a halt to the fear and isolation many endure.
24/07/2015

Polish Senate discusses with FRA fundamental rights challenges and achievements in the EU

On 21 July, FRA presented the agency and its 2014 Annual Report of fundamental rights challenges and achievements to the Polish Senate in Warsaw. Speaking at the joint session of three parliamentary committees, the European Affairs Committee, Family, Social Policy and Senior Citizens’ Affairs Committee as well as Committee on Human Rights, Rule of Law and Petitions, the interim FRA Director, Constantinos Manolopoulos, focused on the issues of migration, victims’ rights and child rights.

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Status: 
Findings available

Mapping child protection systems in the EU

The European Commission asked FRA to develop an overview of national child protection systems. FRA will examine the scope and key components of national child protection systems across the EU. The focus will be on the systems’ laws, structures, actors and how the systems function, as well as human and financial resources and the existing accountability mechanisms.
Status: 
Findings available

Guardianship provisions for child victims of trafficking

This guidance is intended to enhance the protection of child victims of trafficking. The guidance will consist of a handbook on guardianship for children deprived of parental care. The handbook will reinforce guardianship systems to cater to the specific needs of child victims of trafficking.

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June
2015

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2014 - Annual report

Annual report
European Union (EU) Member States and institutions introduced a number of legal and policy measures in 2014 to safeguard fundamental rights in the EU. Notwithstanding these efforts, a great deal remains to be done, and it can be seen that the situation in some areas is alarming: the number of migrants rescued or apprehended at sea as they were trying to reach Europe’s borders quadrupled over 2013; more than a quarter of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; and an increasing number of political parties use xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaigns, potentially increasing some people’s vulnerability to becoming victims of crime or hate crime.
May
2015

Child-friendly justice – Perspectives and experiences of professionals on children’s participation in civil and criminal judicial proceedings in 10 EU Member States

Report
Each year thousands of children take part in criminal and civil judicial proceedings, affected by parental divorce or as victims or witnesses to crime. Such proceedings can be stressful for anyone. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) investigated whether children’s rights are respected in these proceedings.