Children’s rights and justice – Minimum age requirements in the EU

This report outlines Member States’ approaches to age requirements and limits
regarding child participation in judicial proceedings; procedural safeguards for, and rights of, children involved in criminal
proceedings; as well as issues related to depriving children of their liberty.

Finding the right balance between promoting children’s right to participate in procedures that affect their lives and protecting them from harm remains a challenge in the field of justice. Member States address this in various ways, including by setting minimum age requirements for certain rights to kick in, and age limits for special protective measures to apply. These can vary quite considerably across the EU.

The report is one of two FRA reports addressing minimum age requirements in particular fields. The second report focuses on the asylum context. In addition, FRA has published on its website comparative data on age requirements in nine thematic areas: legal capacity; political participation; health; religion; asylum and migration; access to justice; children in the digital world; social and economic rights; and LGBTI issues. Taken together, the reports and published data provide a comprehensive overview of minimum age requirements in the EU.


  1. Key findings and FRA opinions
  2. Children’s rights and justice
  3. Child participation in judicial proceedings: the right to express views and be heard
  4. Rights and safeguards in criminal proceedings
  5. Detention of children