Rights of the child
Protection and promotion of the rights of the child is one of the objectives of the European Union. All policies and actions with an impact on children must be designed, implemented and monitored in line with the best interests of the child.
Children's rights are human rights
Rights of children are part of human rights: rights that the EU and EU countries must respect, protect and fulfil. As laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a child is any human being below the age of 18. The Commission is guided by the principles set out in the UN Convention on the rights of the child, ratified by all EU countries.
The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an objective for the EU to promote the protection of rights of children (Article 3(3) Treaty on European Union).
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU guarantees the protection of rights of the child by EU institutions, as well as by EU countries when they implement EU law. Whilst the whole Charter applies to children, there is a specific Article 24 (on the rights of the child) and Article 31 (on the prohibition of child labour).
EU acquis and policy documents on the rights of the child
This document compiles and tracks all EU legislation and provisions, major policy documents and Commission proposals for legislation on the rights of the child.
Child protection/child safeguarding policies
Organisations working directly for and with children should be guided by child protection policies and have reporting mechanisms in place. The four standards set out in this document provide good guidance on what policies should cover and achieve.
EU funding programmes with relevance for integrated child protection systems
Please check this document for more infomration on EU Funding programmes
The Commission coordinator on the rights of the child
DG Justice has a coordination role on the rights of the child among the Commission's services.
Through the Commission coordinator on the rights of the child (Margaret Tuite, https://twitter.com/MargaretTuite1) and an inter-service group DG JUSTICE cooperates with other services of the Commission to make sure that the rights of the child are properly considered in all relevant policies and actions.
Below you will find information about the actions of other Commission services to protect and promote the rights of the child.
DG Health and Food Safety
• Youth health initiative
• Promotion of children's health and wellbeing
• Healthy environments: Injury and safety
• Healthy environments: Health and environment
• Tackling childhood obesity
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
• Poverty and social exclusiion
• Investing in children and European Platform for investing in Children
• European platform against poverty and social exclusion
• Youth employment
• European Pillar of Social Rights
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
• Corporate Social Responsibility
DG International Cooperation and Development
• Public Group on Children
European External Action Service
• The EU and children's rights
Fundamental Rights Agency – FRA
• Rights of the child
European Asylum Support Office – EASO
• Vulnerable groups