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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Findings available

Handbook of European Law on the rights of the child

This project concerns the development of a Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child for practitioners concerned with the legal protection of these rights.
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.

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Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child

Children are full-fledged holders of rights. They are beneficiaries of all human and fundamental rights and subjects of special regulations, given their specific characteristics. This handbook aims to illustrate how European law and case law accommodate the specific interests and needs of children.

Guardianship systems for children deprived of parental care in the European Union

This report explores the key features of guardianship systems put in place to cater for the needs of all children in need of protection, including child victims and those at risk of becoming victims of trafficking in human beings or of other forms of exploitation. The research covers four specific areas, namely the type of guardianship systems in place, the profile of appointed guardians, the appointment procedures, and the tasks of the guardians.

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.