Children and youth
Children and youth make up half the population in developing countries. Healthy and educated children and youth are an opportunity for increasing their country's human and economic capital. However, every year over 10 million of them die before reaching the age of 5 and over 200 million are forced to work, under the legal minimum age.
The European Commission and UNICEF have recently launched a new project to improve birth registration rates in eight selected countries in Africa, Asia and Pacific regions.
Winners gender drawing competition 2011
YRAP winners are already in Tanzania
The three winners of the Young Reporters Against Poverty (YRAP) competition have started their press trip to Africa and are already in Dar es Salaam. You can follow them trough Facebook and the YRAP website.
For the period 2007-2013, the EU's development action in this field is financed through three types of instruments:
- the implementation of the policy at national and regional level is supported by geographical instruments, such as the European Development Fund (in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries), the Development Co-operation Instrument (in Latin America, Asia and South Africa), and the European Neighbourhood & Partnership Instrument (in the neighbouring regions);
- the thematic programme Investing in people, where 8.5% of the budget is allocated for "Protection and participation of children and youth". The programme focuses on the global monitoring and policy advocacy for child protection and the rights of children, strengthening children participation, support for pilot country programmes for reintegrating affected children and, finally, promotion of policies to support productive employment and decent work for youth;
- the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
A regional programme for youth is running in the Mediterranean neighbouring countries: EuroMed Youth phase IV will be launched by the end of 2009.
As underlined by the European Consensus on Development , children and youth are particularly vulnerable and their rights and interests need special attention. The EU's development cooperation addresses many of the essential services that are crucial for the advancement of children's rights, such as health, education, social protection, as well as combating discrimination, child labour and human trafficking.
The EU's long-term strategy on children is contained in the policy papers A Special Place for Children in EU External Action and Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child . The strategy stresses the need for more policy coordination, so that children's welfare is taken into account in all the EU's dealings with other countries through political dialogue, trade negotiations, development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
The EU has also developed specific guidelines on Children Affected by Armed Conflicts (recently updated) and on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child .