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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.



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  Birth registration – giving every child their ‘first right’

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
14 young children coming from 13 different countries all over the world have been selected, by a peer jury of children, as final winners of the international drawing competition on gender equality.

  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.


Financial support

For the period 2007-2013, the EU's development action in this field is financed through three types of instruments:

A regional programme for youth is running in the Mediterranean neighbouring countries: EuroMed Youth phase IV will be launched by the end of 2009.

Background information

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 .

Last update: 10/07/2012 | Top