Press Release

Child rights in European law: new practical guide from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Council of Europe

On the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), launch a handbook on European law relating to rights of the child.

Access the Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child >>

“The promotion and protection of rights of the child is one of the EU’s objectives. However, legal practitioners are not always familiar with European law and jurisprudence in this area,” says FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos. “We are glad to offer this useful guide to assist practitioners better protect children so they can effectively enjoy their rights.”

Council of Europe Director General for Democracy Snežana Samardžić-Marković says: “Legislation and policy promoting the rights of the child would have little impact without them being directly implemented through national and international jurisprudence. Professionals working with and for children need to have a full overview and, most importantly, understanding of the case law developed by the international and regional courts in this area. This handbook will be a precious tool to making children’s rights a reality in their daily lives.

The Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child is the first comprehensive guide to European law in the area of child rights, taking into account both the case law of the ECtHR and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It provides information on: the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and relevant Regulations and Directives; the European Social Charter (ESC); decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights; other Council of Europe instruments; as well as on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international instruments.

This handbook is designed to assist lawyers, judges, prosecutors, social workers, non-governmental organisations and other bodies confronted with legal issues relating to rights of the child. The publication covers issues such as equality, personal identity, family life, alternative care and adoption, migration and asylum, child protection against violence and exploitation, as well as children’s rights within criminal justice and alternative proceedings.

The handbook is available in English and French. Other language versions will follow in 2016.

The launch of the handbook is part of the annual World Forum for Democracy, organised by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Notes to editors:

  • The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides evidence-based advice to the EU institutions and Member States, helping to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.
  • The Council of Europe is the largest human rights organisation in Europe. It brings together 47 member states, including all 28 members of the European Union. The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. It is based on the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
  • The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg by the Council of Europe Member States in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. Decisions, judgments and further information about the Court can be found on

For further information please contact: