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.

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Free children from poverty to guarantee their rights
19/11/2018

Free children from poverty to guarantee their rights

As millions of children face poverty across Europe, World Children’s Day on 20 November, is a time to call on the EU and its Member States to honour their commitments to promote the human rights of all children.
Help end the child poverty plaguing Europe
17/10/2018

Help end the child poverty plaguing Europe

Almost 25 million children in the EU live in low income households where living conditions are unacceptable and hunger is common. Inadequate education and healthcare threaten their fundamental rights and deprive them of opportunities to escape the poverty cycle, finds the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in its latest report.

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Status: 
Ongoing

Practical guide to enhance transnational cooperation: EU child victims of trafficking or in need of protection

The new guidance will provide EU Member States with practical suggestions on how to respond step-by-step from the moment of identification of the child until a lasting solution in their best interests is found. It will also provide a brief overview of the relevant international and EU legal framework, especially in the area of criminal justice, victims’ rights and cross-border cooperation among EU Member States.
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

Combating child poverty: an issue of fundamental rights
October
2018

Combating child poverty: an issue of fundamental rights

Report
Almost 25 million children under 18 are at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. Poverty deprives children of educational opportunities, childcare, access to health care, adequate food and housing, family support and even protection from violence. This report outlines data and survey findings that highlight the magnitude of child poverty in the EU, but also presents tools available to counter this phenomenon and keep track of progress made.
How the Eurosur Regulation affects fundamental rights
September
2018

How the Eurosur Regulation affects fundamental rights

Paper
In November 2017, the European Commission requested FRA’s support in evaluating the impact on fundamental rights of the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) Regulation. Further to this request, FRA reviewed the work of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and analysed cooperation agreements concluded by EU Member States with third countries which are relevant for the exchange of information for the purposes of Eurosur. This report presents the main findings of such review.
Fundamental Rights Report 2018
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of rights protection. The European Pillar of Social Rights marked an important move towards a more ‘social Europe’. But, as experiences with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights underscore, agreement on a text is merely a first step. Even in its eighth year as the EU's binding bill of rights, the Charter's potential was not fully exploited, highlighting the need to more actively promote its use.