Protect children’s rights during economic crisis for the benefit of Europe today and tomorrow

Three years on and the economic and financial crisis shows no sign of abating. Vulnerable groups are most at risk. To mark the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November, the FRA wishes to reaffirm its commitment to securing the fundamental rights of children, many seriously affected by public service cuts in education, health and social services.

"History has shown that hard times pose a serious challenge to the protection of fundamental rights, particularly for vulnerable groups, and children are likely to suffer the most as their needs are often easily ignored," said FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum. "Children need protection, as well as empowerment, especially in these days of crisis. Saving on children today will only mean higher costs tomorrow. By investing in children today, society will benefit now and in the future."

The FRA will continue to work alongside its partners in the institutions and Member States of the European Union, the Council of Europe and UNICEF, as well as with civil society on the rights of the child. The Agency does this by collecting evidence on the ground - as in the case of its research on separated, asylum-seeking children and on the victims of child trafficking in EU Member States- and by developing indicators for the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the EU. Such work will continue to play a role in helping policy makers shape the laws and policies that can best ensure the rights of children that, today, are faced with public sector cuts.