Child poverty and well-being

In 2013, the European Commission released its Recommendation – ‘Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’. FRA is currently analysing existing secondary European level data on child poverty and well-being, following the indicators annexed in the Recommendation, from a fundamental rights perspective.
Project Status
Findings available
Project Manager
Monica Gutierrez
Project start date


FRA is currently looking at child poverty in the EU from a child rights perspective. Poverty can be both the cause and the result of human rights violations. Living in poverty may lead to violations of the right to housing, health or education, while human rights violations such as discrimination may result in social exclusion and poverty. This affects in particular children in vulnerable situations.

Article 24 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights states that all ‘children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being’ and Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) declares ‘the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development’.

This project is part of the 2018 Annual Work Programme.


The latest available Eurostat data (2016) show that one in four children (almost 25 million) below the age of 18 years are at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. That means that they are living in households with low income, low participation in the labour market, material deprivation or, in the worst case, in households that are facing all of these aspects of poverty and social exclusion. This figure has fallen only slightly since the peak of the economic crisis - in 2012 it was 28.1%. It also hides significant disparities between Member States: while 13.8 % children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Denmark, this rises to almost half of all children (49.2 %) in Romania. FRA’s data based on its Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II) survey show that the risk of poverty or social exclusion is higher for certain minority groups, such as Roma, and for children with a certain migration background.

The project draws on the promise of the European Pillar of Social Rights to protect Europe’s children from poverty and the duty of all EU countries to respect their right to equal opportunities. This is in line with the global policy framework of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EU’s new multiannual financial framework proposals, announced by the Commission in May 2018, underpin the commitment for a more “social Europe” using the full potential of EU funds for the period 2021-2027.


On 17th October 2018, which marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, FRA will publish a report on child poverty in the EU based on legal analysis and statistical data from Eurostat and FRA’s EU-MIDIS II.

See also