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.

Background

Background

The FRA started its work on the rights of the child by developing indicators to measure the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the EU, immediately after its establishment in 2007. On the basis of these indicators the FRA has collected data and published two reports, on child trafficking, and on separated, asylum-seeking children.

The indicators to measure the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the EU, provide an initial toolkit to evaluate the impact, highlight the achievements and reveal the gaps of adopted EU law and policy on children’s status and experience across various fields (e.g. family environment and alternative care; protection from exploitation and violence; adequate standard of living; education, culture, citizenship and participation in activities related to school and sport).

The FRA’s work on child-trafficking in the European Union has identified problems in the definition of child trafficking and the identification and age assessment of the victims, a scarcity of convictions for child trafficking, differences in sanctioning policies, punishment of child-trafficking victims as well as their detention, lack of specialized shelters and children leaving shelters for unknown destinations, as well as difficulties in accessing legal assistance and family tracing, among others.

The FRA’s work on separated, asylum-seeking children in European Union Member States has examined the living conditions and experiences with legal procedures of these children in 12 countries. The research found that separated, asylum-seeking children are often not well informed about their rights and the legal proceedings concerning them; that often appropriate legal representation, advice and counseling is not made available to them; that  the role of  ‘guardian’ remains unclear to many children; that they frequently feel asylum procedures to be long, exacerbating feelings of insecurity and fear; finally, that children often have negative experiences in accessing care (including health, accommodation and food) as well as leisure activities or in practicing their religion.

The FRA has also researched the experience of discrimination, social marginalization and violence of Muslim and non-Muslim youth in three EU Member States, and included a child rights perspective in other aspects of its work, such as in its survey of Roma people and its survey on violence against women. In addition, the FRA devotes one of the chapters of its Annual Report on Fundamental rights to the rights of the child and the protection of children.

FRA’s ongoing/future work

The FRA works together with policy-makers, public authorities, and civil society organizations, informing them about its child rights indicators and encouraging and facilitating their use.  In 2012 the Agency started to develop fieldwork research to examine the extent to which justice processes are child friendly.  The FRA also co-operates with the Commission in the implementation of its Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors and co-operated with FRONTEX in the preparation of briefings for border-guards participating in FRONTEX operations in regard to the treatment of children. The FRA also plans to start co-operating with EASO.

Child participation in research

Child participation in research

Children and young people are increasingly involved in research and decision making on different aspects of rights which relate to them. EU Member States have different rules, regulations and guidelines regarding the participation of children in research, in particular concerning ethics approval and informed consent.

The information reflects the situation up to 1 January 2014. Updates are made based on subsequent developments as soon as FRA is aware of a change.

If you have any feedback on the data we would be happy to receive your comments by email at: childrights@fra.europa.eu.

The map below shows the age requirements for parental consent for children's participation in research in each EU Member State.

Requirements for parental consent

 

Source: FRA, 2014

  Parental consent is always required for children up to 18 years old
  Regulation on parental consent varies depending on contexts, and parental consent is required for children up to 18 years old in school settings
  Parental consent is required for children under the age of 15 or 16
  Parental consent is required for children under the age of 14
  There is no clear regulation about parental consent and age groups

The information provided below describes legal requirements and procedures for involving children in research, including in particular procedures of ethics approval and informed consent of children and their parents for all EU Member States.

Legal requirements and ethical codes of conduct of child participation in research in EU Members States
Country Key points Conclusions
Austria

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Data Protection Act 2000[1]

Age:  n/a

Consent: In social research - Children might participate in surveys provided that the child’s parent has given his/her consent[2]

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a

Other sources: [3] [4] [5] [6]

  • No specific regulation/guidelines except general rules on personal data protection and medical research. Very few examples or current practices that would allow recommendations/conclusions to be drawn on how to proceed with interviewing children
  • Some non-medical universities voluntarily established their own ethics commissions and it seems that most Austrian universities are currently making an effort to establish ethics commissions
  • Public bodies when funding research projects simply make reference to ‘generally accepted standards’
  • Current practice: Children aged 12 to 19 were invited to participate in an online survey. Parental consent or any other qualification was not required
Belgium

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Law of 8 December 1992 on the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data [7]

Age:  n/a

Consent:  n/a

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: When parents are not involved in the carrying out of the research, the director, vice-director or teacher will provide the consent in place of the parents. This consent will also not always be given in a written form, as there is no general consensus on how consent should be given [8]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a

Other sources: [9]

  • No specific regulation/guidelines except general rules on personal data protection and medical research. Informed consent of parents is always required and children must be given the opportunity to express their views
  • According to current practice for research in school settings, the consent of the school director or teacher suffices and replaces parental consent
  • The existence of several codes of ethics and good conduct such as the Ethical Code for scientific research in Belgium seems not to be applied and have in any case almost no concrete implications for research involving children
Bulgaria

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Child Protection Act[10]; Ethical Code for the People Working with Children[11]; Ethical Code of the Bulgarian Media [12] ; Protection of Personal Data Act, art 5 [13] 

Age: n/a

Consent:  Non-Obligatory: researchers have to inform the family and involve children in the decision-making process. Every child has the right to freedom of expression of opinion and the right to formulate own views and to freely express them [11]

Role of children: When the child is over 14, his/her consent is needed [10]

Role of parents:  Current practice - Parental consent is always needed [14]

Schools: n/a

Institutions: Social Assistance Department (which is the body that officially applies measures applied to children at risk by the Child Protection Departments subordinated to the Social Assistance Departments) should also give written opinion if the research includes collection and dissemination of personal data

Ethical approval: n/a

Other Sources: [15]

  • According to the regulations that apply to medical research and the non-binding Ethical Code for People Working with Children it could be assumed that the consent of the parent is always needed and consent of the child is needed when the child over 14
  • No specific regulation/guidelines except general rules on personal data protection and medical research
  • When a child is placed under protection measures, data about him/her cannot be disseminated without the written opinion of the protection body that undertook the measure (which usually is the local Child Protection Department)
  • Under the Child Protection Act every child has the right to freely express opinions on each matter of his/her interest. The child can seek cooperation from the authorities and the people who are in charge of protecting him/her.  Every child has the right to be informed and consulted by the child protection authority without his/her parents or the people who take care of him/her being informed if this is necessary so that the best interests of the child are protected and the provision of this information could harm these interests

 

Croatia

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Code of Ethics for Research Involving Children[16] ; National Pedagogical Standard for Preschool Education [17], National Pedagogical Standard for Elementary Education[18], National Pedagogical Standard for Secondary Education [19]; Act on the Protection of Patients’ Rights [20]

Age: < 14 parental consent

> 14, child consent [16]

Consent:  Informed and obligatory

Parental consent for <14 children

>14 children consent oral or written

Duty to inform the participants of the results of the research

Role of children: Children between 7 and 14: have to be informed about the research in terms appropriate to their age

Role of parents: Parents or guardians have to be informed about the research even when parental consent is not required

Schools: Written consent from the parents of each child involved in the research
Ethical approval is needed from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and from the educational institution's director. Researchers have to submit a request and description of the project indicating age range of children they intend to use as subjects and submit the instrument (e.g. questionnaire) plus consent form letter

Procedure length: between three to six weeks [17]  [18] [19]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Approval needed from the relevant institutional ethics committee [16]

Other Sources: [21]

  • Informed parental consent required for chldren <14
  • Parents or guardians have to be informed about all aspects of the research
  • Schools: written consent from the parents and ethical approval from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and from the educational institution’s director. Procedure length: between three to six weeks
  • When research involves vulnerable groups at schools, the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports consults an expert at the Education and Teacher Training Agency.
Cyprus

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Operational guidelines of the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee (CNBC) [22]; Centre of Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE), Guidelines for the submission of the online application [23]

Age: n/a

Consent:  Practice - Parental written consent form and child's opinion should be respected [24] 

Role of children: Practice - Child opinion should be respected

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: Practice - Written consent is required from the student's parents, when a study is conducted in public schools. Obligatory approval is needed from the Directorates of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) through the Center of Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE).  The whole approval procedure may take four to five weeks. After the completion of the research study, the researcher has to submit a summary of the results to the MoEC. [23] [25]

Institutions: Approval needed from the Director of Social Welfare Services (replacing parental consent) [26] 

Ethical approval: n/a

  • The research in school setting is well regulated; researchers can apply online and get ethical approval in around 5 weeks. Even if the procedure looks bureaucratic, the fact that the procedure exists and provides a clear frame can be considered as a best practice and could facilitate the work of the researchers
  • Written consent from the parents and child's opinion respected
  • Several codes of ethics/guidelines (both in medical and social science) can provide an idea of what are the requirements concerning consent
  • The CERE provides a comprehensive checklist of ethical considerations that researchers should meet. This facilitates researchers response to aspects related to research ethics while conducting research in schools (with children)
Czech Republic

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Ethical Framework of Research by Ministry of Education [27] , Youth and Sports Esomar guidelines [28] ; Ethical Regulations of Czech Association for Social Anthropology; Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogy

Age: Informed consent by parents for <14 [27] [28] 

Consent:  Non-obligatory. No regulation on the need of written informed consent but written form is preferred [27]

Role of children: Child’s expression of its voluntary participation. Non-obligatory

Role of parents: Informed consent by parents/guardians. Non-obligatory

Schools: <14: Informed consent from teacher or schoolmasters. Non-obligatory for pre-school age: presence of  parents or other person close to child [28] 

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a

Other Sources: [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34]
 

  • Informed consent by parents for children <14 following ESOMAR guidelines
  • No mandatory regulation on consent: important but not mandatory Ethical Framework of Research by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. No regulation specifically addressing children in social research
  • Non-obligatory codes of ethics for social research, rarely specifically addressing children. References to international bodies and professional associations
  • In case of using personal data, registration by The Office for Personal Data Protection
     
Denmark

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Act on Processing of Personal Data [35] ;  Guidelines of the Danish Social Science Research Council (DSSRC) [36] ; NCHRE [37]

Age: n/a

Consent: Non-Obligatory

Role of children: The child must receive information orally

Role of parents: The parents must receive sufficient information

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a

Other Sources: [38]

  • No specific regulation/guidelines except general rules on personal data protection and medical research. Very few examples or current practices that would allow recommendations/conclusions to be drawn on how to proceed with interviewing children
  • Promising practice in the medical field where the NCHRE issued a manual on how to provide sufficient information to the research participants involved in a medical intervention. They issued a special manual on how to provide relevant information to participants aged between 15 and 17 years
  • Except few exceptions, data concerning race or ethnic origin, political, religious or philosophical views,  trade union membership or health or sexual issues cannot be subject to data processing
Estonia

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Personal Data Protection Act; [39] Code on Market and Social Research (ICC/ESOMAR) [40]

Age: n/a

Consent: Non-obligatory. The consent of the parent shall first be obtained before interviewing children. Oral consent is enough [40]

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: The teacher can consent. Oral consent is enough (Non-obligatory) [40]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: In absence of ethic committee for social research, some researchers submit applications to the medical ethics committee (Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu [42] and the Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee [43]). The following information needs to be provided to the Commitee in Tartu: description of the research methodology that includes questionnaires and tests; an analysis of ethical aspects of the research; the information sheets for the informants and the forms of consent; list of researchers carrying out the research, their academic qualifications; information about the financing of the research [42]

Other Sources: [41]

  • No specific regulation/guidelines except general rules on personal data protection and medical research. Very few examples or current practices that would allow recommendations/conclusions to be drawn on how to proceed with interviewing children
  • In absence of specific regulations applying to social research, the EU and international standards are often referred as the minimum standards to be respected when interviewing children
  • When the research involves the processing of personal data of children (not anonymised)  the informed consent of the parent shall first be obtained before processing
     
Finland

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Personal data Act (1999) [44] ; TENK-Recommendations from the National Advisory board on research ethics-TENK [45] ; Child Custody and Right of Access Act (362/1984) [46]

Age: n/a

Consent: No specific provision for children. Recommendations from the National Advisory board on research ethics-TENK [44] [45]

Role of children:  Researchers must always respect a children's autonomy and the principle of voluntary participation

Role of parents: No parental consent required if research is pre-school or school, no individual identification information is collected, and school principal thinks research is useful for institutions. When consent is not sought from parents, and children under 15, an ethical pre-evaluation should be conducted.
Parent has the right to deny a child's participation in other than medical research [44] [45] [46]

Schools: Practice - May differ from municipality to municipality, but usually approval from local school board is necessary.
Example: Helsinki region requires written consent from parents and from children  (Approval of the Helsinki board takes around 1 month time) [45] [47]

Institutions: In institutional settings such as prisons, child protection institutions, hospitals, homes for the elderly and similar places, it is recommended that consent is sought from each and every subject [45]

Ethical approval: Not required for social research, but increasingly used in the fields of nursing, psychology and physical education. The ethical approval is sought through regional ethics committees. Universities and other institutions can also have their own ethical approval[45]

Other Sources: n/a

  • No parental consent is needed for studies with children >15
  • Authorisation required when doing research in schools may differ from region to region. If school-based research, need to check the requirements with each municipality, as they might differ
  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection applying to all data subjects. Recommendations from the National Advisory board on research ethics should be followed
  • A survey done with researchers specialised in children in 2010 concluded that the administrative obstacles, ethical norms and permit practices are incompatible with research interests
  • A social research plan must be submitted to ethical review, inter alia, if the subjects are children under the age of 15 and i) the study is not part of the normal activities of a school or an institution of early childhood education and care; and ii) the data are collected without parental consent and without providing the parents or guardians the opportunity to forbid the child from taking part in the study.
  • There are several advisory boards concerning children in research: ETENE, TUKIJA and ethical boards for hospitals.
France

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) 'Education Guide' and the 'Higher Education and Research Guide’ [48] ; France, Public Health Code (Code de la santé publique), article L1122-1-1 [49] ; Code of Education (Code de l’éducation) [50]

Age: n/a

Consent: n/a

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: When research is undertaken in both state and private schools, the consent of the parents or the children is never expected. However, French law requires that information on the research being conducted is provided to the families, which in turn allows them, if they wish, not to send their children to an establishment undertaking research. Students' right to prior information must be guaranteed. The survey questionnaire sent to students should mention the wording of Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978 relating to data protection and civil liberties [50]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a
 

  • No specific regulation/guidelines except in the medical field
  • Very few examples or current practices that would allow recommendations/conclusions to be drawn on how to proceed with interviewing children
     
Germany

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Association of Market and Social Research Agencies - ADM guidelines

Age: n/a

Consent: Depends on Federal States and context

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: In some States minors up to age of 18 written informed consent by parents
Berlin only < 14; north-Rhine Westphalia also exceptions possible, e.g. that head teacher can approve
Most States demand approval from respective supervisory school authority (Schulaufsichtsbehoerde), a governmental body: Obligatory  [51]

Institutions: Research in juveniles detention centres (14-24); approval by responsible ministers of justice. Situation comparable to school settings in regard to federal responsibilities

Ethical approval: Ethical codes of conduct by scholarly associations (Sociology, Psychology, Education), but no remarks on research involving children
Schools: no specific time frame for the procedures of approval, time-consuming, differs from state to state [52] [53] [54]

Other Sources: [55]

  • Only regulations in school context and medical field are obligatory with regard to parental consent and ethic committees
  • There are large differences between Federal States with some States requiring informed consent by parents up to the age of 18 and time consuming procedures
  • In any other contexts parental consent is necessary up to the age of 14
  • For social research ethical codes of conduct by professional associations apply
  • A good example of type of information given for informed consent are the ADM (Association of Market and Social Research Agencies) guidelines
Greece

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Civil Code [56] ; Personal Data Law [57] ; Hellenic Data protection authority and self-regulatory code of advertisement & communication [58] ; Code of media Ethics; Law 2619/1998 [59] , Law 3984/2011 [60]

Age: Different degrees of responsibility from 10, 14 and 15 years [56]

Consent: n/a

Role of children: Obligatory - Child consent required in school research

Role of parents: Parental consent is required when research in school, but no specification of age groups. Parental consent is required always for children with disabilities.

Schools: There is a special form on written consent for parents and children in the website of the Hellenic School Network.
In cases of children with disabilities - There is in addition the approval by the Special education dept. in the Ministry of Education
Approval of Ministry of Education (takes between 2 weeks and 9 months, in cases of academic research) and if sensitive data is collected, then extra permission from Hellenic Data Protection authority is necessary
[61]

Institutions: Researchers apply to institutions, who forward to Ministry of Health or Ministry of Justice. If personal data are necessary, then also approval by Data Protection authority is necessary [62]

Ethical approval: n/a

Other Sources: n/a

  • In school, written consent of parents and children, and approval of the Ministry of Education is required. No information on age groups. No clarity on ages
  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection.
  • Different Code of Ethics, but no information on age groups
  • In cases of children with disabilities in school settings: There is in addition the approval by the Special education dept. in the Ministry of Education
     
Hungary

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Act on informational self-determination and freedom of information [63] ; Codes of ethics of different Universities (psychology departments) [64]

Age: n/a

Consent: Obligatory parental consent is required for children <16, if processing of personal data. Consent of children >16 is sufficient [63]

Role of children: Oral consent if under 14 and written consent over 14 [64][65]

Role of parents: Parental consent for children <16
Some codes of ethics in universities suggest parental consent up 18 [64][65]

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Different practices according to University, usually all projects including children require ethical approval [64] [65] [66]

Other Sources: n/a

  • If processing of personal data, the law requires parental consent only for children under 16 years
  • There are several codes of ethics in universities suggesting parental consent up to the age of 18
  • Different practices regarding ethical approval depending on University; usually all projects including children require ethical approval
Ireland

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Data protection acts 1988 and 2003 [67] ; Ethical review and children’s research in Ireland, Office of the Minister for Children and youth affairs (2010) [68] ; Statutory instruments N 190, 878 and 374 [69]

Age: Data protection acts with no specific reference to children [67]

Consent:  No standardised regulations

Role of children: The review requires further involvement of children. The current practice gives a more prominent role to parents than to children [68]

Role of parents: Practice seems to require parental consent for children up to 18. For adolescents the need for parental consent depends from each individual ethical committee

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Usually a Research Ethics Committee is formed for the specific project. There are many local or issue-specific Committees in different institutions and universities. No national coordination/overseeing

Other Sources: n/a

  • The general practice seems to require parental consent for children up to the age of 18. For adolescents the need for parental consent depends sometimes from each individual ethical committee
  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection applying to all data subjects
  • Ethical Committees are created for a particular project, theme or institution
  • Interesting guidelines on research with children: 1) The Children’s research centre- ethical guidelines, Trinity college, Dublin 2) Guidelines and checklist for research with children with disabilities, National disability authority, 3) Guidance for developing ethical research projects involving children’ published by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2012.
  • Office of the Minister for children has initiated several reports in order to standardised processes across research ethics committees
  • In context of medial research : Operational Procedures for Research Ethics Committees, prepared by the Irish Council for Bioethics, which require parental consent for all research with children or person with disabilities
Italy

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Code of ethics of the National Data Protection Authority [70]

Age: There are several codes of ethics of professional associations

Consent: Just one code of ethics doing recommendations on children [71]

Role of children: If child ability to understand the request, then also informed consent from child is necessary (Non-Obligatory) (ibidem)

Role of parents: Informed consent of parents. Non-obligatory (ibidem)

Schools: In addition to the info above, also informed consent of headperson or principal of school: Non-obligatory (ibidem)

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a

  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection applying to all data subjects
  • No clarity on consent requirements or age groups
  • A need for ethical approval will depend from each ethics Committee
  • Different codes of ethics
  • Not determined- “particular attention when research with vulnerable groups: babies, children, people with mental disability and people who are institutionalised, hospitalised or in detention”.
Latvia

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Protection of the rights of the Child Law [72]; Personal Data protection law [73] ; Code of the Latvian sociological association [74] ; Institute of Sociological Research [75] ; Code of the Latvian sociological association [76]

Age: n/a

Consent:  If personal data processing, no specifics on children, general consent of data subject.
The sociological association requires parental consent for children younger than 16.
According to general practice, there is no need for parental consent [72] [73] [74]

Role of children: Informed consent of all research subjects, including of children below 16 years to the extent they are able to give it [74] 

Role of parents: Parental consent required for children <16, unless 1) research imposes a minimum risk to the child, or 2) the informed consent of parents is not a reasonable requirement (e.g. abused children, use of drugs)
Practice: some examples of research on sensitive issues (e.g. drugs) did not require parental consent [74] [75]

Schools: Practice - Consent by school director and children. In research with children of 7 years, also parental consent [75]

Institutions: Approval of authorities and children

Ethical approval: No approval, but possibility to complain about sociologist to the Sociological Association [74]

Other Sources: [77]

  • The sociological association requires parental consent for children younger than 16, other examples of research in school have only asked for directors’ approval and children’s consent
  • According to general practice, there is no need for parental consent of parents. Sociological code also accepts no need for it for children over 16 years
  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection applying to all data subjects
  • There are different codes of professional groups and practices
Lithuania

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Law on the Legal protection of Personal Data [78] ; Civil Code [79]

Age: Civil Code- Children between 14 and 18 certain capacity to act
Research with children between 16 and 18 usually does not need authorisation of parents [78] [79] [80]

Consent:  Practice: Written consent for children <16 [80] 

Role of children: Practice: Children consent >16
Opinion of the child must be taken into account  [80] [81]

Role of parents: Written consent for children <16
In most cases of psychological research, active parental consent is acquired for all children [80]

Schools: Practice - Approval from school administration or head teachers. If research does not cover sensitive data (as above) parental consent is often not required for children >16

Institutions: Example of research on sexual abuse in residential institutions: informed consent of administration of residential institutions (i.e. legal guardians)[83]
For matters related to research in juvenile detention/imprisonment institutions. Practice requires permission of administration and of the child. (Prison  Department under the Ministry of Justice or imprisonment institutions directly) [84]

Ethical approval: n/a

Other Sources:  [82]  [85]
 

  •  The practice does not require parental consent for children over 16 years
  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection applying to all data subjects
  • International codes of conduct are followed. Since 2009 there is a national association of childhood researchers
  • Parental consent is always required when: person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious, philosophical beliefs, membership in trade unions, health, sexual life and criminal record
     
Luxembourg

Context of legal framework and Ethical codes of conduct: Civil Code [88] , NCDP (National Commission for Data Protection) [86], NCER (Comité National d’Ethique et de Recherche) [90]

Age: Informed consent by parents for <14 [86]

Consent:  Non-obligatory Signed consent from parents is recommended as best practice. For all children <12, recommended <14 by parents and children

Role of children: for children between 12 and 14 consent of children plus parental consent is recommended. Non-obligatory

Role of parents: Informed consent for children <14. Non-obligatory, recommended

Schools: Information to be provided - objective, contribution, anonymity, free participation, questionnaire for parents, stamped envelope [87]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Obligatory ethical approval of research by national body if personal data is used. No specific  information on children and age groups. Guidelines highlight ethical issues particularly addressing children and informed consent [86] [89]

Other Sources:  [91] [92]

  •  Recommendation for informed consent by parents for children <14; Informed consent of children >12
  • Obligatory authorisation/ethical approval of research by national body if personal data is used but no specific information on children and age groups allowing varying intepretations and modes of implementation. Data gathering of sensitive data may become difficult
  • Online research. Practice: 12-17, mailing to directors forwarded to class teachers, no way to retrace identifying account, no socio-economic background information, not asked to sign consent form
Malta

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Data Protection Act [93] ; Criminal Code; Civil Code [94]

Age: 18, where parents jointly represent their children [94]

Consent: Parent till up to the age of 12; >12 legal representative additionally consent by children should be considered. [95] When processing personal data the consent of the parents is required for children up to 18 years.

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: Ethical Approval is obligatory in schools. Written consent by parents, consult with Head of Schools, right to object any request. [97]

Institutions: Children under care - Ethical approval by children and young persons’ advisory board, then from child participating [98]

Ethical approval: Non-Obligatory - By UREC: 30 days
By FSWS research office in case of research applications, Codes of Ethics of American Psycholgocial Association (APA), time frame can vary [95] [96]

Other Sources: [99] [100]
 

  • Obligatory regulations in the context of state schools as well as with regard to sensitive data and vulnerable groups
  • Research with children under care need specific ethical approval
  • Approval by Research Ethics Committee is necessary for funding and publishing
  • Ethical codes of conduct in line with professional associations, specific attention needs to be paid to the different ethics committees
  • Sensitive data: Where any information is derived by any teacher, member of a school administration;or any other person acting in the parent's place or in a professional capacity in relation to a minor and states, such information may be processed if such processing is in the best interests of the child

     

Netherlands

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Protection of personal data act [101]; Code of conduct for research and statistics [102]

Age: Processing of personal data of children under 16 (if no “legitimate interest”) requires parental approval. Over 16 children themselves is enough [101]

Consent: Processing of personal data, only with unambiguous consent of the data subject unless research sponsor possess “legitimate interest”. There are several codes of conduct [101] [102]

Role of children: Consent of children over 12 in secondary school is sufficient
Children between 12 and 16 should be included as much as possible [102] [103]

Role of parents: Parental consent for children between 12 and 16
Even if “legitimate interest”, parents need to give approval for children under 12 to take part in research

Schools: Consent of children over 12 in secondary school is sufficient. Unless a different agreement with school authorities

Institutions: As above, unless a different agreement with institution authorities

Ethical approval: Ethical committees can be formed in different institutions.
Data Protection authority supervises compliance if use of personal data, must be notified, but only requires approval in certain exceptional cases [101]

Other Sources: [104]
 

  • If processing of personal data parental consent is required only for children under 16 years, older children can consent themselves.
  • Different code of ethics of professional organisations
  • Some codes consider the consent of a child over 12 in secondary school as enough, with no need for parental consent
  • Ethical committees are formed in different institutions
     
Poland

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: See sources [106], [109], [110], [111]

Age: Informed consent by parents for <13 [106]

Consent:  Non-obligatory No regulation on the need of written informed consent but written form is preferred

Role of children: for children >13 their approval is sufficient. Non-obligatory

Role of parents: Informed consent for children <13. Non-obligatory

Schools: Written permission form head teacher, parental consent is optional in such a protected environment (in practice parental consent is usually asked for children under 13) willingness of child to participate

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Approval by institutional ethical committees is necessary for funding and publishing [108]

Other Sources: n/a

  • Informed consent by parents for children <13 Informed consent of children >13
  • Approval by institutional ethical committees is necessary for funding and publishing
  • Research with children may be checked by Office of Commissioner for the Rights of the Child - upon individual request if there is a risk of child right violation. Non-obligatory professional ethical codes and good manners in science by Committee for Ethics should be followed
  • Children > 13 suffering from mental illness or intellectual disability, limitations to be established by family court. Special safeguarding procedures for research with children with disabilities
  • Note (Civil Code regulations): children who have not reached the age of 13 do not possess the capacity for legal acts. Children who have reached the age of 13 possess a limited capacity for legal acts. A person who has reached the age of 13 under certain circumstances (i.e. mental illness) may be completely incapacitated
Portugal

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Law of Data Protection [113]

Age: n/a

Consent:  Individual consent for sensitive data, no specific information about children.
Research tools have to consider best interest of the child, ensure clarity and adequacy according to age of child, anonymity [113] [114]

Role of children: Voluntary participation (ibidem)

Role of parents: Parental consent in a written form for children up to 18 (ibidem)

Schools: Obligatory - In case of sensitive data (see below) parents’ permission beforehand
Practice - Daphne project: school’s consent, parents’ written consent, students’ willingness [116] [117]
Questionnaires need to be authorised [116]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Obligatory formal declaration about research signed by study supervisor [118]

Other Sources: [119] [120] 

  • Only obligatory regulations in the field of medical research and in school context: research by students needs to be approved
  • No ethical codes of conduct referring to research practices, only taught in courses on research methods. As a good practice example, the Institute of Studies on Children from Minho University: conducts research with direct participation of children
  • Practice: How children use internet in international study, ethical approval in the UK [119]
  • Practice: Criteria for students participating in sheltering, educating, promoting training and social and professional integration of children at risk: preservation of anonymity, respect for privacy and other children rights [120] 
     
Romania

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Law No.272/2004 on the protection and promotion of the child [121]; Article 42 of the Civil Code [122]; Regulations for the operation of the Ethics Commission of the Institute of Philosophy and Psychology ”Constantin Rădulescu Motru” [123]

Age: Two categories of child: <14 lack of legal capacity
Between 14 and 18 years old limited legal capacity [122]

Consent: Obligatory:Vary from an institution to another [123] [124] [125] [126]

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: n/a

Schools: Example of project conducted by the ”Francisc I. Rainer” Institute for Anthropology of the Romanian Academy - Prior to starting the research, the school, the parents and the children are informed about the purpose and the methods of the research and the manner in which the collected data will be used, as well as the responsibilities and the rights of participants in the research. The participants’ oral and written consent is secured, a partnership agreement is concluded with the institution where the study is carried out, and the (progress or final) results are communicated to those involved.
In the course of sociological or educational research conducted in schools, depending on the research topic, the approval of the school Administration Board (Consiliul de Administrație) and of the parents must be sought so it is obligatory [124]

Institutions: Prior agreement of the local child protection services.
Entrance in the institution can be done only with the express approval of the director of the public service dealing with child rights protection and accompanied by a representative of this public service, the signature of a declaration that all data and information obtained will be used without affecting the image or right to privacy of the child placed in foster care, and taking and using of images of the children in foster care or custody may only be done with the prior consent of the parent of the child [128]

Ethical approval: No framework code of ethics for research but many institutions adopted their own codes of ethics. Approval of the ethics committee must be sought [125]

Other Sources: [120] [127] 

  • No specific legal framework but the existence of many codes of conduct and practices that differ from one institute to the other makes the drawing of recommendations/conclusions difficult
  • Basically the procedure depends on the research institute that conducts the research; in any case the approval of the relevant ethics committee is needed
  • CNECSDTI (National Council for Ethics in Scientific Research, Technological Development and Innovation) has the mission to coordinate and monitor the application of good conduct norms in research and development activities in Romania; this institution is probably the one to contact before planning  research involving children
  • Example for Ethical Approval: Research conducted by the Institute of Philosophy and Psychology “Constantin Rădulescu Motru" can start only after the approval of the ethics commission on the ethical aspects of the research and the forms of informed consent which are to be distributed to the subjects of the research and/or their parents/legal guardians in the case of research involving minors
  • Code of Ethics and Professional Deontology for Research and Development Staff, Code of ethics and professional deontology of the personnel working in research and development and codes of ethics for each field of research are under preparation and may be adopted in near future (information provided in May 2011)
Slovakia

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: National Action Plan for Children 2009-2012; National Action Plan for Children 2013-2017 [129]

Ethical Code of Slovak Archive of Social Data; Civil Code; ESOMAR code of ethics [130]

Age: Children all up to the age of 18 [131]

Consent: n/a

Role of children: n/a

Role of parents: Practice - Internal regulations of informed consent of parent [132]

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: n/a

Other Sources: [133] [134] [135] [136] [137]
 

  • Policies on increasing child participation in research but no regulations apart from medical research
  • Ethical codes of conduct follow ESOMAR guidelines
     
Slovenia

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Research and Development Act[138], Personal Data Protection Act[140], Patient Rights Act [141], Marriage and Family Relations Act [142], Code of Ethical Conduct and Expert Standards of Speech Therapists of Slovenia [143], Code of Professional Ethics of the Slovenian Sociological Association [144], ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research [146], National Medical Ethics Committee [139] , Helsinki Declaration, Oviedo Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and additional protocols, Slovene Code of Medical Deontology [150]

Age: < 15 Parental consent
> 15 Child consent (See Sources [140],[141],[142],[143]

Consent:  Obligatory. Maybe be written, oral or in some other appropriate manner [141]

Role of children: < 15: no legal capacity, if not otherwise stipulated by the law.
>15:  partial legal capacity [140],[141],[142],[143]

Role of parents: <15: parental consent is mandatory
>15: parents approval may be necessary in the specific cases depending of the nature of research and its impact on children [140],[143]

Schools: Personal data of pupils may be disseminated for the purpose of scientific research work and the preparation of statistical analyses in such a manner that the pupils concerned cannot be identified [151], [152],[153]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: The national medical ethics committee decides on the research proposals in the field of biomedicine as well as the research initiatives including people with mental health issues [139]

Other Sources: [145] [147] [148] [149] [154] [155] [156]

  • Informed parental consent mandatory for chldren <15
  • Parental approval may be necessary in some specific cases
  • The national medical ethics committee is the only body in Slovenia with a clear legal mandate to assess the research proposals for their ethical acceptability. The committee decides on the research proposals in the field of biomedicine as well as the research initiatives including people with mental health issues
  • Conditions to meet for scientific research involving individuals with mental health issues: written consent by person concerned as well as medical team; research plan to be approved by national medical ethics committee
     
Spain

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Ley Orgánica 15/1999, de 13 de diciembre, de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal [157] ; Code of psychologist [158] ; Law 41/2002, Royal decree 223/2004, Law 14/2007 [159]

Age: n/a

Consent: No regulations, only Codes of ethics of different professional organisations and international codes such as ESOMAR, ISA.

Role of children: No clarity, following international codes. Code of psychologist says parents need to be informed [158]

Role of parents: Practice - Parents not required consent in 2000 research from the Ombudsperson. Age groups covered were 12 to 16 years

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Universities can have their own ethical committees. Network of committees under: http://www.ub.edu/rceue/ (however it relates mostly to medical experiments and research with animals) [160]

Other Sources: n/a

  • Not regulated by law, except general rules on personal data protection applying to all data subjects
  • Different codes of ethics of professional associations, but no determination of age or parental consent
  • Practice also varies. Universities can have their own ethical committees
Sweden

Context of legal framework and Eehical codes of conduct: Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research involving humans [161] ; Swedish Government, The Swedish Medical Products Agency; The Data Inspection Board

Age: Children between 15-18 years are in need of extensive protection, beyond making sure that they undertake activities freely and with awareness of possible adverse consequences [161]

Consent: Obligatory parental consent for children <15

Role of children: Children consent from 15 to 18. Assessment of the level of maturity and capacity for insight is needed [161] [163]

Role of parents: For children below 15: Parents must be informed and give consent
For children between 15 and 18: Child can consent but it depends on the level of maturity of the child. If the researcher’s assessment is that the minor is not mature enough and does not realise what the research entails and therefore cannot agree, the researcher must turn to the parents or guardians to ask for consent [161]

Schools: n/a

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: six regional ethics review boards (REPNs) that review research projects. Ethics review board should review a research project if any of the following conditions exist:
The project entails physical encroachment on the research subject
It will be conducted using a method aiming to affect the research subject physically or psychologically;
It carries an obvious risk of physical or psychological harm to the research subject
It entails studies on biological material that can be traced to specific individuals. [161]

Other Sources: [162]

  • Parental consent for all children < 15
  • >15: if the adolescent has adequate information about the research project to undertake activities freely and with awareness of possible adverse consequences, he/she can give consent to research without the parent’s authorisation. Children consent  15-18: assessment of the level of maturity and capacity for insight is needed
  • No specific legislation on social research
  • Ethics review board should review a research project if (inter alia) it is going to be conducted using a method aiming to affect the research subject physically or psychologically or it carries an obvious risk of physical or psychological harm to the research subject
     
UK

Context of legal framework and ethical codes of conduct: Ethical guidelines published by the Medical Research Council (MRC) [164] , Framework for Research Ethics (FRE) published by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) [170] ; Market Resarch Society (MRS) [171] ; United Kingdom (1969) Family Law Reform Act 1969, s 8(1) [166] ; United Kingdom (1991) Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991, s 1 (1) and s 2 (4) [168] ; United Kingdom (1995) Children (Scotland) Act 1995, s 6(1). [169]

Age: Child <18 (General legal principles)

Consent: <16 Parental consent
>16 "Gillick competent" children. Informed children consent.  [166]

Role of children: Child’s ability to give consent to medical treatment will depend on whether or not the child has achieved “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to fully understand what is proposed". The emphasis placed on obtaining the informed consent of children wherever possible and, where not possible, at least securing their 'assent' to participation [164] [166]

Role of parents: see above

Schools: Good practice to seek additional consent from the child’s parents [171]

Institutions: n/a

Ethical approval: Researchers working with children are registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and must have a clear Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). Research needs to be subject to appropriate ethics review, approval and monitoring.
Approval by ethics committees necessary, e.g. via University ethics committees [170] [171]

Other Sources: [165] [167] [172] [173] [174] [175] [176]

  • The participation of children in fieldwork research, both clinical and non-clinical, is permitted in the UK
  • For research outside the scope of the Clinical Trials Regulations, the legal framework governing consent to participate in research is based on the law governing a child’s capacity to consent to medical treatment
  • Scotland has different legislation on age of consent
  • The emphasis placed (at least outside the Clinical Trials Regulations) on obtaining the informed consent of children wherever possible and, where not possible, at least securing their 'assent' to participation
  • The involvement of parents continues to be encouraged as a matter of good practice
  • Internet research: Prior consent by children and their parents is necessary if information is collected from online forums and social networking sites. Telephone and online research projects: respondents must be asked to give their age before any other personal information is required. Any child under 16 must be excluded from the project until consent has been obtained from a responsible adult and verified (emails containing parental consent are not considered sufficient)
     
 

Austria

  1. Austria, Federal Law concerning the Protection of Data (Datenschutzgesetz, DSG) (2000) 
  2. Information provided by Statistics Austria, 2012 
  3. Austrian Society of Children and Youth Medicine (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde ) (2001) Ethics in pediatric (Ethik in der pädiatrischen Forschung) 
  4. Forum of the Austrian Ethics Commissions (Forum Österreichischer Ethikkommissionen) (2002)  Recommendations for information of patients – consent regarding research on minors (Empfehlungen für die Patienteninformation –Einwilligungserklärung bei Studien an Minderjährigen) 
  5. Austria, Federal Law of 2 March  on Production and Marketing of Medicinal Products (Bundesgesetz vom 2 März 1983 über die Herstellung und das Inverkehrbringen von Arzneimitteln (Arzneimittelgesetz - AMG), 1983 
  6. Network Children’s Rights Austria (Netzwerk Kinderrechte Österreich) (2014) ‘Feedback’  

Belgium

  1. Belgium, Law of 8 December 1992 on the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data (Private Life Act), (Loi du 8 décembre 1992 relative à la protection de la vie privée à l'égard des traitements de données à caractère personnel (Loi vie privée)  
  2. Belgium, Law of 7 May 2004 concerning experiments on humans (Loi relative aux expérimentations sur la personne humaine) 
  3. Information  provided by the Educational and Psychology Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2012 

Bulgaria

  1. Bulgaria, Child Protection Act (Закон за закрила на детето) (2000) 
  2. Bulgaria, Ethical Code for People Working with Children 
  3. Bulgaria, Ethical Code of the Bulgarian Media (2004) 
  4. Bulgaria, Personal Data Protection Act (Закон за защита на личните данни) (2002)  
  5. Bulgaria, Family Code (Семеен кодекс) (2009) 
  6. Bulgaria, Health Act (Закон за здравето) (2005) 

Croatia

  1. Croatia, Council for Children (2003), Code of Ethics for Research Involving Children (Etički kodeks istraživanja s djecom) 
  2. Croatia,  Ministry of Science, Education and Sport (2008)  National Pedagogical Standard for Preschool Education (Državni pedagoški standard predškolskog odgoja i naobrazbe) 
  3. Croatia, Ministry of Science, Education and Sport (2008) National Pedagogical Standard for Elementary Education (Državni pedagoški standard osnovnoškolskog sustava odgoja i obrazovanja) 
  4. Croatia, Ministry of Science, Education and Sport (2008)  National Pedagogical Standard for Secondary Education  (Državni pedagoški standard srednjoškolskog sustava odgoja i obrazovanja) 
  5. Croatia, Act on the Protection of Patients’ Rights (Zakon o zaštiti prava pacijenata), 2004 
  6. Croatia, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (2007) Procedures for Clinical Research and on Good Clinical Practice (Pravilnik o kliničkim ispitivanjima i dobroj kliničkoj praksi). 

Cyprus

  1. Cyprus National Bioethics Committee (CNBC) (2005) The Operational Guidelines (Code of Practice in biomedical research) for the Establishment of Ethics Committees in reviewing Biomedical Research involving Human Subjects (Κ.Δ.Π. 175/2005) 
  2. Cyprus, Center of Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE) (2014) Guidelines for the submission of the online application 
  3. Information provided by the Center for the Study of Childhood and Adolescence, Cyprus, 2012 
  4. Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Ministry of Education and Culture (2014) 
  5. Information provided by the Social Welfare Services, 2012 

Czech Republic

  1. Czech Republic, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (2005) Ethical Framework of Research (Eticky ramec vyzkumu) 
  2. ESOMAR World Research (2009), ESOMAR World Research Codes & Guidelines, Interviewing Children and Young People 
  3. Czech Republic, Enhancing Literacy Development in European Languages – Code of Ethics (ELDEL), 2014 
  4. American Psychological Association (APA) – Code of Ethics (APA), adopted in August 2002  
  5. Association of Agencies for Market and Opinion Research (SIMAR), 2014 
  6. Czech Republic,  The Office for Personal Data Protection (2000), Czech Data Protection Act 
  7. Czech Republic,  Czech Labour Code, Czech Employment Act  (Zakon o zamestnanosti), 2004 
  8. Czech Republic, Medical Services Act  (Zakon o zdravotnich sluzbach), 2011 

Denmark

  1. Denmark, Act no. 429 of 31 May 2000 on Processing of Personal Data (Lov nr. 429 af  31 Maj 2000 om behandling af personoplysninger) 
  2. Denmark, Danish Social Science Research Council  (2002), Guidelines of the Danish Social Science Research Council (DSSRC) (Vejledende Retningslinjer for forskningsetik I samfundvidenskaberne) 
  3. Denmark, The National Committee on Health Research Ethics (NCHRE) (2011), Act no. 593 of 14 June 2011 on research ethical review of health research projects (Lov nr. 593 af 14. Juni 2011  om videnskabsetisk behandling af sundhedsvidenskabelige forskningsprojekter 
  4. Denmark, The National Committee on Health Research Ethics (2011),  ‘Guidelines about Notification etc. of a Biomedical Research Project to the Committee System on Biomedical Research Ethics, No 9154, 5 May 2011’, Ethical guidelines of the National Committee on Health Research (Ethics Den Nationale Videnskabsetiske Komité) 

Estonia

  1. Estonia,  Personal Data Protection Act, (Isikuandmete kaite seadus), 2007  
  2. ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research, 2007 
  3. Estonia, Medicinal Products Act (Ravimiseadus), 2005 
  4. Statues of the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu (2010) 
  5. Statues of the Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee (2005) 

Finland

  1. Finland, Personal data Act  (Henkilötietolaki 523/1999/ Personuppgiftslag 523/1999), 1 June 1999  
  2. Finland, National Advisory Board on Research Ethics TENK (Tutkimuseettinen neuvottelukunta TENK/ Forskningsetiska delegationen TENK)(2009) , The ethical principles for social science, behavioral science and humanities science research and a recommendation for organising ethical pre-evaluation (Humanistisen, yhteiskuntatieteellisen ja käyttäytymistieteellisen tutkimuksen eettiset periaatteet ja ehdotus eettisen ennakkoarvioinnin järjestämiseksi). 
  3. Finland, Child Custody and Right of Access Act (Laki lapsen huollosta ja tapaamisoikeudesta 362/1984/ lag angående vårdnad om barn och umgängesrätt 361/1983), 1 January 1984. 
  4. Finland, The School Board of Helsinki (2012), Instructions for research permit applicants. 

France

  1. France, French data Protection Authority (CNIL) (2011), 'Education Guide' and the 'Higher Education and Research Guide’ 
  2. France, Public Health Code (Code de la santé publique),  2014  
  3. France,  Code of Education (Code de l’éducation), 2014  

Germany

  1. Germany, Standing Conference of  the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Laender in the Federal Republic of Germany (Kultusministerkonferenz, KMK), 2014 
  2. Germany, DGS German Sociological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie), 2014 
  3. Germany, DFgP German Association for Psychology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie), 2014 
  4. Germany, DGfE German Association for Education (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaften), 2014 
  5. Germany, Medicinal Products Act (Arzneimittelgesetz) (2005) 

Greece

  1. Greece, Civil Code, 2013 
  2. Greece, Personal Data Law, 2013 
  3. Greece, Hellenic Data protection authority (HDPA) and self-regulatory code of advertisement and communication, 2007 
  4. Greece, Code of Media Ethics (Presidential Decree 77/2003, OG A’ 75/28.3.2003, 2003 
  5. Greece, Law 2619/1998 (OG A’ 132/19.6.1998), Law 3984/2011 OG A’ 150/27.6.2011 
  6. Greece, Annual ministry circular 788/95795/T1, 2011 
  7. Information provided by Paidopolis and HDPA , 2012 

Hungary

  1. Hungary, Act on Informational Self-determination and Freedom of Information, 2011 
  2. Hungary, University of Szeged, Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Psychology, Code of ethics and regulations  (2011) 
  3. Hungary, Institute of Psychology, ELTE University, "Basic Principles regarding Research and Publication"(2011) 
  4. Hungary, National Institute of Family and Social policy, Amendments to the methodology of research with children" –(Adalékok a gyerekkutatások módszertanához – Nemzeti Család- és Szociálpolitikai Intézet, NCSSZI, Kapocs X. No 4. (51), (2001)  

Ireland

  1. Ireland, Data Protection Acts  of 1988 and 2003 
  2. Ireland, Office of the Minister for Children and youth affairs (2010), Ethical review and children’s research in Ireland 
  3. European Communities, Clinical Trials on Medicinal Products for Human Use, Statutory Instruments No. 190, No. 878 (2004) and No. 374 (2006) 

Italy

  1. Italy, National Data Protection Authority  (2004), Code of ethics of the National Data Protection Authority  2004, (Provvedimenti del Garante n.2 del 16 giugno 2004) 
  2. Italy, Association of Market Research Organisations (ASSIRM) (2007), Code of ethics (Codice di etica professionale) 

Latvia

  1. Latvia, Protection of the rights of the Child Law (Bērnu tiesību aizsardzības likums) (1998)
  2. Latvia, Personal Data Protection Law (Fizisko personu datu aizsardzības likums), (2000)
  3. Latvia, The Latvian Sociological  Association (Latvijas Sociologu asociācijas, LSA) (2008), Code of professional conduct for social and market research   (Profesionālās darbības kodekss sociālo un tirgus pētījumu veikšanai)
  4. Information provided by the Institute of Sociological Research, Latvia   
  5. Latvia, The Latvian Sociological Association (2008), Code of professional conduct for social and market research (Latvijas Sociologu asociācijas, profesionālās darbības kodekss sociālo un tirgus pētījumu veikšanai), 2008   
  6. Latvia, Law on the rights of patients (Pacientu tiesību likums), 2009    

Lithuania

  1. Lithuania, Law on the Legal protection of Personal Data, 2008   
  2. Lithuania, Civil Code , 2000   
  3. Information provided by Ombudsman for Children Rights (2012), National association of Childhood researchers (2012) , Psychological Innovations and Research Training Centre at Vilnius University (2012)  and Novelskaitė, A. (2010) Report of a research Ethics of Scientific Research in Lithuania: Analysis of Situation. Unpublished manuscript.    
  4. M. Mačėnaitė, D. Paulikienė, I. Skersytė, D. Šinkūnienė, Lietuvos Vartotojų Institutas (2011), Protection of Privacy of Children in the Internet (Vaikų privatumo apsauga internete), p. 69 
  5. Lithuania, Law on ethics of biomedical research, 2007   
  6. Information provided by the NGO Children Support Centre, 2012 
  7. ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research (2007)     
  8. Infomation provided by FRA National Liasion officer, 2013    

Luxembourg

  1. Luxembourg, NCDP (National Commission for Data Protection) ("Commission Nationale pour la protection des données"), 2014 
  2. Information provided by the Ministry of Education, 2012   
  3. Luxembourg, Civil Code, 2013   
  4. Luxembourg, Luxembourg's research fund (Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg)  
  5. Luxembourg, Comité National d’Ethique et de Recherche, (2005), Grand ducal decree of 30 May 2005   
  6. Luxembourg, The Law of 2 August 2002, on the Protection of Persons with regard to the Processing of Personal Data (Loi du 2 août 2002 relative à la protection des personnes à l’égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel)    
  7. Luxembourg, Law of 18 March 2013 (Loi relative aux traitements de données à caractère personnel concernant les élèves) 

Malta

  1. Malta, Data Protection Act ( 2001) 
  2. Malta, Civil Code, Cap 16 (2014) 
  3. Malta, Research Ethics Committee, University of Malta (UREC), Guidelines for UoM Research Ethics Committee 
  4. Malta, University of Malta Research Ethics Committee, Guidelines (2004)   
  5. Information provided by the Ministry of Education of Malta, Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE), 2012    
  6. Information provided by Children and young persons’ Advisory Board, 2012     
  7. Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS), Malta    
  8. Malta, Processing of Personal Data (Protection of Minors) Regulations, 2004    

Netherlands

  1. Netherlands, Protection of Personal Data Act (Wet bescherming persoonsgegevens,WBP), 2001   
  2. Netherlands, Code of conduct for research and statistics, (Gedragscode voor Onderzoek en Statistiek), 2010
  3. Netherlands, Netherlands Institute of Psychologists (2007), Code of ethics of psychologists(Beroepscode voor psychologen)    
  4. Netherlands, WMO Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (Wet Medisch-wetenschappelijk onderzoek met mensen, WMO)(1998)    

Poland

  1. ESOMAR World Research (2009), ESOMAR World Research Codes & Guidelines, Interviewing Children and Young People    
  2. Poland, Committee for Ethics in Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Family and Guardianship Code, Civil Code (Kodeks Cywilny),1964    
  3. Poland, Polish Psychological Association, Code of professional ethics for psychologist, (Kodeks etyczno – zawodowy psychologa)    
  4. Institutional ethical committees of the Faculty of Psychology, Adam Mickiewicz University; Faculty of Psychology, Warsaw University; Faculty of Pedagogics and Psychology, University of Sliesia; Faculty of Psychology, Jagiellonian University,     
  5. Poland, Office of Commissioner for the Rights of the Child  (2000), Act on Commissioner for the Rights of the Child  (Ustawa o Rzeczniku Praw Dziecka)    
  6. Poland, Physician’s Profession Act (Ustawa z 5 grudnia 1996 o zawodzie lekarza),1996   
  7. 7.Poland, Local bioethical committees, Ministry of Health Regulation of the Minister of Health on clinical research with minors (Rozporządzenie Ministra Zdrowia z dnia 30 kwietnia 2004 r. w sprawie sposobu prowadzenia badań klinicznych z udziałem małoletnich), 2004  
  8. >Kidspeak    

Portugal

  1. Law of Data Protection of 26 October 1998 (Lei 67/98 de 26 de Outubro)    
  2. Information provided by the Directorate General for Education (Direcção Geral da Educação), 2012      
  3. Portugal, Law 12/2005 of 26 January about personal genetic information, (Lei 12/2005 de 26 de Janeiro)     
  4. Information provided by the General Director of Innovation and Curriculum Development (Direcção Geral da Educação), 2012   
  5. Information provided by CESIS (Centro de Estudos para a Intervenção Social), 2012    
  6. Information provided by the Directorate General for Education, 2012    
  7. EU Kids Online Project, 2009-2011     
  8. Information provided by Casa Pia de Lisboa, 2012   

Romania

  1. Romania, CNECSDTI (National Council for Ethics in Scientific Research, Technological Development and Innovation), 2008    
  2. Romania, Law No.272/2004 regarding the protection and promotion of the rights of the child (Legea nr.272/2004 privind protecţia şi promovarea drepturilor copilului 
  3. Romania, Article 42 of the Civil Code (2011)     
  4. Information provided by the Babeş-Bolyai University, Institute of Philosophy and Psychology “Constantin Rădulescu Motru” of the Romanian Academy, (Institutul de Filozofie şi Psihologie “Constantin Rǎdulescu-Motru”), 2012     
  5. Information provided by  ”Francisc I. Rainer” Institute for Anthropology of the Romanian Academy (Institutul de Antropologie ”Francisc I. Rainer”), 2012    
  6. Romania,  Ethics Comission, Ethic Code, University Babes-Bolyai     
  7. Information provided by the  Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies (Romani CRISS), 2012   
  8. Information provided by the Bucharest Municipality School Inspectorate  (Inspectoratul Școlar al Municipiului București), 2012   
  9. Romania, The General Department on Child Protection of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection (Direcţia Generalǎ Protecţia Copilului, Ministerul Muncii, Familiei şi Protecţiei Sociale) (2002), Official Gazette nr.702/2002    

     

Slovakia

  1. Slovakia, Government of the Slovak republic (2009), National Action Plan for Children 2009-2012 and 2013-2017
  2. Slovakia, Ethical Code of Slovak Archive of Social Data 2004 – 2012   
  3. Slovakia, Civil Code (Občiansky zákonník ), 1964    
  4. Slovakia, Information provided by Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology, The Slovak National Institute for Education, UNICEF, Slovak National Institute for Education, Slovak Youth Institute.   
  5. Slovakia, Slovak Association of Research Agencies (SAVA) ‘obliges members to abide by ESOMAR Code of ethics’    
  6. Slovakia, Healthcare Act, Act No. 576/2004 Coll. on Healthcare and Healthcare-related services.    
  7. Slovakia, Act No 482/2002 on Personal Data Protection, 2002    
  8. Slovakia, Act No. 305/2005 on  Social-Legal Protection  of the Children, 2005   
  9. Slovakia, Act  No.36/2005 on Family, 2005         

Slovenia

  1. Slovenia, Research and Development Act (2002),(Zakon o raziskovalni in razvojni dejavnosti, ZRRD)    
  2. National Medical Ethics Committee (2008)    
  3. Slovenia, Personal Data Protection Act (2004a) (Zakon o varstvu osebnih podatkov, ZVOP-1)    
  4. Slovenia, Patient Rights Act (2008) (Zakon o pacientovih pravicah, ZPacP) of 29 January 2008   
  5. Slovenia, Marriage and Family Relations Act (1976), (Zakon o zakonski zvezi in družinskih razmerjih, ZZZDR), 4 June 1976.    
  6. Slovenia, Code of Ethical Conduct and Expert Standards of Speech Therapists of Slovenia (1995), (Etični kodeks in strokovni standardi logopedov Slovenije), Društvo logopedov Slovenije    
  7.  Slovenia, Slovenian Sociological Association (Slovensko sociološko društvo), (1992), Code of Professional Ethics (Kodeks profesionalne etike SSD)   
  8. Slovenia, Statistical Society of Slovenia (Deklaracija poklicne etike), Ethical code of conduct (Statistično društvo Slovenije)(1991)   
  9. ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research (2007)   
  1. Slovenia, Health Services Act, (Zakon o zdravstveni dejavnosti, ZZDej) (1992)    
  2. Slovenia, Patient rights act, (Zakon o pacientovih pravicah, ZPacP) (2008)     
  3. Slovenia, Ethical codes of conducts of the University of Ljubljana (Univerza v Ljubljani) (2009) and the University of Primorska (Univerza na Primorskem) (2011)   
  4. Slovenian Code of Medical Deontology, Slovenian Code of Medical Deontology (Slovenski kodeks medicinske deontologije),Medical Chamber of Slovenia ( Zdravniška zbornica Slovenije) (1992).   
  5. Slovenia, The Kindergarten Act (Zakon o vrtcih, ZVrt) (1996) 
  6. >Slovenia, Elementary School Act (Zakon o osnovni šoli, ZOsn), 14 February 1996    
  7. Slovenia, Rules on the collection and protection of personal data in music schools (Pravilnik o zbiranju in varstvu osebnih podatkov v glasbenih šolah) (2004) 
  8. Slovenia, Mental Health Act (Zakon o duševnem zdravju, ZDZdr), (2008)    
  9. Slovenia, Rules on the collection and protection of personal data in pre-school education, (Pravilnik o zbiranju in varstvu osebnih podatkov na področju predšolske vzgoje), (2004) 
  10. Slovenia, the Rules on the collection and protection of personal data in pre-school education (Pravilnik o zbiranju in varstvu osebnih podatkov na področju predšolske vzgoje), 9 June 2004 

Spain

  1. Spain, Spanish Data Protection Law (1999) (Ley Orgánica de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal), BOE 14 December 1999 
  2. Code of Psychologist (2010), (Código Deontológico), Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Psicólogos, COP (2010)   
  3. Spain (2002), Spanish Basic Law 41/2002 of 14 November on the Autonomy of the Patient and the Rights and Obligations with regard to Clinical Information and Documentation (Ley 41/2002, de 14 de noviembre, básica reguladora de la autonomía del paciente y de derechos y obligaciones en material de información y documentación clínica); Spain (2004), Royal decree 223/2004 of 6 February 2004 regulating clinical trials using medicines (Real Decreto 223/2004, de 6 de febrero, por el que se regulan los ensayos clínicos con medicamentos); Spain (2007), Act 14/2007 of 3 July on biomedical research (Ley 14/2007, de 3 de Julio, de investigación biomédica), BOE 4 July 2007,     
  4. Network of Ethical Committees of Universities and Public Research Centres (Red de Comités de Ética de Universidades y Organismos Públicos de Investigación, RCE)

     

Sweden

  1. Sweden, Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research Involving humans (Lag om etikprövning av forskning som avser människor), (2003) 
  2. Sweden, Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research involving humans,  (Lag om etikprövning av forskning som avser människor), 2008   
  3. Sweden, The Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelslagen) (1992), Medicinal Products Act     

United Kingdom

  1. United Kingdom, Medical Research Council (MRC) (2004), ‘Ethics Guide: Medical research involving children’    
  2. United Kingdom Department of Governance arrangements for research ethics committees, A harmonised edition    
  3. United Kingdom (1969), Family Law Reform Act 1969, s 8(1)   
  4. United Kingdom House of Lord, Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority, AC 112  of 17 October 1985    
  5. United Kingdom (1991), Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act   
  6. United Kingdom (1995), Children (Scotland) Act     
  7. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (2010), Framework for research ethic (FRE)      
  8. Market Research Society (MRS) (2012), ‘Guidelines on research with children and young people’    
  9. Market Resarch Society, Code of Practice     
  10. Department of Health (2005). Research Governance for Health and Social Care (2nd edition)     
  11. United Kingdom, Medicine for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations, 2004    
  12. Ministry of Justice (27th September 2010). National Offender Management Service, Research Applications  
  13. British Society of Criminology (2003), Code of Ethics for Researchers in the Field of Criminology, available at www.britsoccrim.org/docs/CodeofEthics.pdf; The British Psychological Society (2009), Code of Ethics and Conduct   

     

 

What are my rights?
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What are my rights?

Everyone has rights no matter their age. But children need extra protection because they are young. For example, children have the right to go to school and to be protected from dangerous work. 

Who is a child?

A child is any person under the age of 18.

What are rights?

Rights represent things that every child in the world, including you, should be able to do or to have.

For example, all children should be able to go to school, all children should be able to visit a doctor when they are sick, and all children should be treated well and not with violence.

Five rights you should know!

  • You have the right to live and grow up healthily.
  • All children should be treated the same way no matter who they are and what their parents do. Some children, however, might need some extra support: children who are poor, for example, might need help to buy school books.
  • When adults make decisions about you, they should decide what is in your best interest.
  • You have the right to be heard in decisions that affect you and adults must take your views seriously.
  • You have the right to be protected from violence and harm.

What does it mean?

  • Violence: There are many forms of violence:
    • physical violence such as beatings, slapping, pushing, etc.
    • mental or psychological violence such as insults, neglect, threats, name-calling, bullying, etc
    • sexual violence: any unwanted form of sexual behaviour
  • What does best interest of the child mean?  When adults make decisions about you, they should think if this decision is best for you. When parents are divorcing, for example, the decision where and who the child should live with, should be taken thinking about what is best for the child, not what is best for the mother or the father.
  • What is the right to be heard?  It is about people listening to you. Your opinion must be taken into account. The decision taken by adults may, however, be different from what you want. When this happens, they should explain to you why they decided otherwise.
  • What is protection? Protection helps you to feel unafraid of being harmed by someone or something. Children should be protected from harm. For this reason, they should ask for help from those people who know what to do to protect them such as teachers, a mother or a father or a person they trust.

Drawings used on this web page have been kindly designed for FRA by Elton Chen.

Where do my rights come from?
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Where do my rights come from?

The rights of children are written in the laws of the country you live in as well as in European and international law.

A law is a group of rules which regulates the actions of an individual or more people, such as the members of a community or country. This includes children. If people do something against the law, they have to face the consequences of their actions; in the most serious cases they have to go to prison.

What is an international law?

It is a group of rules which a group of countries have agreed to follow. International law also regulates children’s rights.

What are international treaties?

An international treaty is an agreement under international law made by countries and/or international organisations. Under the treaty, everyone agreees to do something in a certain situation. For example, they promise to do all they can to protect specific rights of children such as the right to have food and water, to go to school, etc.

What is the European Union?

The European Union (or EU) is an organisation of 28 European countries. Each country has a different history, geography, language and culture. Together the countries make the EU which decides certain matters for all countries. This includes human rights and children’s rights. However, in some matters countries make their own decisions.

Where do my rights come from?

The rights of children are written in the laws of the country that you live in, called national laws, and in European and international laws such as the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Social Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Find out more about:

International laws on the rights of the child
 

 

European laws on the rights of the child
 

 

National laws on the rights of the child
 

Drawings used on this web page have been kindly designed for FRA by Elton Chen.

FRA for children
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FRA for children

What does FRA do?

FRA helps EU institutions and countries in the European Union (EU), so-called EU Member States, to ensure that the rights of all people including children are respected. It collects information about rights across the EU and gives advice on how to improve the conditions of vulnerable people such as migrants, asylum seekers, victims of violence, racism and hate crime

What does FRA do for children?

FRA helps the EU institutions and Member States ensure that the rights of children are respected. FRA is currently working in the area of:


Children and justice

28/01/2014

The project looks at how children are treated in the justice systems of the EU. The research is based on interviews with professionals (such as judges, lawyers, psychologists...) and children of different ages. 

This study will advise European countries how best to treat children who come into contact with courts as a witness, victim or participant. It will also help people to become aware of the Council of Europe guidelines on child friendly justice.

 

 

 

The guidelines on child friendly justice are important as they support countries and professionals in their efforts to promote and protect children’s rights within the justice system. These guidelines apply to all children involved with civil, criminal and administrative proceedings. The guidelines help professionals listen to what children have to say, to give them all necessary information, to treat them with respect, to protect them from discrimination and to make decisions in the best interests of children.

Download the file explaining some of the key terms used in the child-friendly justice project >> Also available in:  BG - DE - ESET - FR - HR - PL - RO 

 

During the 1st stage of the research, which took place in 2012, 574 professionals (such as judges, prosecutors, lawyers, guardians, people working at courts, psychologists and social workers …) were interviewed. Those interviews took place in 10 different countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom). The first stage of the research examined how children’s rights are protected within the proceedings, particularly in courts, from the perspective of professionals who work with children.

Children, involved in the study, have been in contact with the justice system. This means that they have been in court and asked questions by lawyers, the judge, psychologists, etc. The experiences of these children are different. For example some may have seen/heard something bad (witnesses), something bad may have happened to them (victims) or their parents may have divorced.

The second stage of the research will focus only on children and their experiences. In 2013, FRA began preparing for this stage by exploring the best ways to conduct interviews with children. FRA will use this to interview children in 2014 who have been involved in criminal and civil proceedings. January 2014 is also when we begin our main batch of interviews with children. This is the second stage of our work on children and justice, which was piloted during 2013; during the pilot stage 97 children from nine different countries provided us with some very interesting insights into their experiences of judicial procedures.

For more information see the project page.


Guardianship for child victims of trafficking

27/06/2014

DVARG@ShutterstockAll children should be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse, says the United Nation’s Convention for the Rights of the Child which outlines the rights that children should have. This project is developing guidance, intended to enhance the protection of child victims of trafficking.

Parents and family members take care of children and protect them. Countries must help parents ensure that all children receive appropriate care and that their rights are respected.

However, not all children grow up with their parents and family. This can happen for a number of different reasons. For example, if children experience violence or abuse at home, other adults who help protect children may decide that it is better for the child not to live with their parents for a certain period of time. Or parents leave their home and children behind to earn money in another country. Children may also move to another country by themselves – These are called unaccompanied children.

Very often children become separated from their parents. They may be exploited by adults for money, such as forcing children to steal, beg or do other illegal things. These children are very vulnerable, and need special care and support.

When children are separated from their parents, countries has to take care of them and protect their rights.

In doing so, the country has to appoint an adult to be responsible for the child. These people are called guardians.

The European Union has developed laws, called directives, saying that countries have to appoint an adult who is responsible for protecting a child when the child is a victim of abuse and exploitation if the parents cannot protect the child. European Union laws also say that countries have to appoint a adult who is responsible for a child when the child is in the country without parental care as an unaccompanied child and who risks becoming a victim. More information on the European Union policies and laws on child rights can be found on this European Commission website.

Guardians must protect the rights of the child and ensure that the child receives all necessary and appropriate help to grow up healthy and happy as well as be an adult.

This handbook has guidance for countries about how to improve guardianship systems to better protect children when they are separated from their parents. For example, it has guidance on what type of knowledge and training guardians should have in order to know how to take care of children. The handbook also has guidance for guardians, explaining what they should do in order to be good guardians and protect the rights of the children that they are responsible for.

For more information see the project page.


Drawings used on this web page have been kindly designed for FRA by Elton Chen.

Do you want to know more?
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Do you want to know more?

FRA

FRA carries out research on the rights of the child regarding to justice, violence, discrimination, migration, participation and many other child rights fields. Here are some of the agency’s publications:

  • Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility 
    This study looks at the rights of children with disabilities in Europe to identify different forms of violence that young people experience.
     
  • Children and justice
    This project, based on research with children and professionals, examines how children are treated within the justice system.  

     
  • Mapping child protection systems
    This project will look at the different systems used in each EU Member State to protect children. This includes the laws, policies and the various national organisations responsible for protecting children, and how they work together.  

     
  • Guardianship for child victims of trafficking
    This project, is developing guidance, together with the European Commission, on the role of guardians to enhance the protection of child victims of trafficking.  

     
  • Handbook on European data protection case law
    Personal data should be protected as they can be easily misused. This publication explains how protection is ensured by under European law.  

     

International

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most important international law on the rights of the child. To help you understand its 54 articles and main topics have a look at:

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is doing lots of work to help people to become aware of the rights of the child in different fields: justice, violence, disability, etc. A list of child-friendly material is available here:

EU

Children’s rights are very important to the European Union. The EU works to improve the lives of many children and to protect vulnerable kids. You can learn more about your own rights through games, videos and cartoons from:

Drawings used on this web page have been kindly designed for FRA by Elton Chen.

Indicators

Indicators

In November 2010, the FRA published its report on “Developing indicators for the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the European Union” following extensive consultation and close cooperation with relevant organisations and experts in the field.  Following the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of its Guidelines on Child-friendly justice, and by the FRA’s Management Board of the FRA’s project on Children and Justice for 2012, the FRA proceeded to develop its indicators in the field of civil justice and in particular family justice, concerning cross-national divorce and parental separation. This was done in order to incorporate the Council of Europe Guidelines and prepare the FRA’s future work on children and justice.

Civil justice

Family justice, concerning cross-national divorce and parental separation

The FRA has developed an initial list of draft indicators in civil justice specifically elaborating the area of family justice as outlined in the attached document.

Downloads: 

Child rights’ indicators in the field of family

[pdf]en (227.39 KB)

Child rights for children

Information for children about child rights including:

 

Latest news View all

12/11/2014

Draft handbook of European law on child rights discussed

On 4 November in Strasbourg, FRA met with representatives of the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe Children’s Rights Division and FRA’s contractors to discuss the drafting of a handbook of European law on child rights.

Latest projects View all

Status: 
Ongoing

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.
Status: 
Ongoing

Children and justice

The project looks at the treatment of children in the justice systems of the European Union (EU), which is an important issue of concern for EU institutions and Member States.

Latest publications View all

July
2014

Fundamental rights: key legal and policy developments in 2013. Highlights 2013

Annual report
The EU and its Member States took a variety of important steps in 2013 to protect and promote fundamental rights by assuming new international commitments, revamping legislation and pursuing innovative policies on the ground. Yet, fundamental rights violations seized the spotlight with distressing frequency: would‑be migrants drowning off the EU’s coast, unprecedented mass surveillance, racist and extremist‑motivated murders, child poverty and Roma deprivation.
June
2014

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2013 - Annual report 2013

Annual report
This year’s FRA annual report looks at fundamental rights-related developments in asylum, immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society, respect for private life and data protection; the rights of the child and the protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; access to justice and judicial cooperation; rights of crime victims; EU Member States and international obligations.