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

18/05/2018

Responding to violence against children

From 17 to 18 April, the Agency took part in the first expert meeting on Responses to Violence against Children established by the Ad hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child (CAHENF) in Strasbourg.

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

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.
Children’s rights and justice – Minimum age requirements in the EU
April
2018

Children’s rights and justice – Minimum age requirements in the EU

Report
This report outlines Member States’ approaches to age requirements and limits regarding child participation in judicial proceedings; procedural safeguards for, and rights of, children involved in criminal proceedings; as well as issues related to depriving children of their liberty.
Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU
January
2018

Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU

Report
Civil society organisations in the European Union play a crucial role in promoting fundamental rights, but it has become harder for them to do so – due to both legal and practical restrictions. This report looks at the different types and patterns of challenges faced by civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU.