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

Child-friendly justice: the child’s perspective
22/02/2017

Child-friendly justice: the child’s perspective

Children involved in court proceedings often feel scared, ignored, and ill-informed, as a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows. By asking children across different EU Member States about their experiences and views, this ground-breaking report shows how far we still have to go to make our justice systems child-friendly.
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.

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: 
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

Child-friendly justice - Perspectives and experiences of children involved in judicial proceedings as victims, witnesses or parties in nine EU Member States
February
2017

Child-friendly justice - Perspectives and experiences of children involved in judicial proceedings as victims, witnesses or parties in nine EU Member States

Report
Around 2.5 million children participate in judicial proceedings across the European Union (EU) every year, affected by parental divorce or as victims of, or witnesses to, crime. Although their effective participation in such proceedings is vital for improving the operation of justice, the treatment of children in justice systems remains a concern. FRA investigated to what extent children’s rights to be heard, to be informed, to be protected, and to non-discrimination are fulfilled in practice.
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.