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Publication date:5 February 2015

Mapping child protection systems in the EU

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), at the request of the European Commission, conducted research on national child protection systems in the 28 European Union (EU) Member States. It seeks to understand how national child protection systems work and to identify common challenges and promising practices.


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. The research will explore how these systems operate and how they address the specific needs of particular groups of children, examining also national and transnational coordination and interagency cooperation.


In past years, there have been many new laws to better protect children and promote their rights at the EU level. The EU Agenda for the rights of the child was adopted in 2010 to step up efforts in protecting and promoting child rights. It contains actions to protect children when they are vulnerable and are subject to or at risk of having their rights violated. In 2012, the EU strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016 called on Member States to strengthen child protection and move towards integrated child protection systems. In December 2013, at the European Forum for the Rights of the Child, the Commission announced that they would develop guidance for child protection systems in 2014.


FRA is currently conducting research on child protection systems through FRANET collecting information and data on the key components of child protection systems across the 28 EU Member States. Findings will be communicated to the European Commission to feed into its work on the development of EU guidelines on child protection systems.