An EU agenda for the rights of the child
The EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child aims to reinforce the full commitment of the EU - as enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon and the Charter of Fundamental Rights - to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in all relevant EU policies and actions. This agenda includes 11 concrete actions where the EU can contribute in an effective way to children's well-being and safety.
EU agenda: overview of the 11 actions
During the coming years, the Commission will contribute to making justice systems within the EU more child-friendly, and to improving children's well-being, chiefly by:
- Adopting a proposal for a directive on victims' rights, raising the level of protection of vulnerable victims, including children.
- Tabling a proposal for a directive on special safeguards for suspected or accused persons who are vulnerable, including children.
- Revising the EU legislation facilitating the recognition and enforcement of decisions on parental responsibility with a view to ensuring, in the interest of the child, that decisions can be recognised and enforced as quickly as possible, including, where appropriate, the establishment of common minimum standards.
- Promoting the use of the Council of Europe Guidelinesof 17 November 2010 on child-friendly justice and taking them into account in future legal instruments in the field of civil and criminal justice.
- Supporting and encouraging the development of training activities for judges and other professionals at European level regarding the optimal participation of children in judicial systems.
- Supporting the exchange of best practices and the improvement of training for guardians, public authorities and other actors who are in close contact with unaccompanied children.
- Paying particular attention to children in the context of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, notably promoting the more efficient use of structural funds for the integration of Roma.
- Strongly encouraging and providing support to all EU countries to ensure the swift introduction and full functioning of the 116 000 hotline for missing children and the child alert mechanisms.
- Supporting EU countries and other stakeholders in strengthening prevention, empowerment and participation of children to make the most of online technologies and countering cyber-bullying behaviour, exposure to harmful content, and other online risks, namely via the Safer Internet Programme and cooperation with the industry through self-regulatory initiatives.
- Continuing the implementation of the 2007 EU Guidelines on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of the Child [109 KB] that focus on combating all forms of violence against children. The EU will also evaluate the implementation of the Guidelines, as well as implement the EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflicts [177 KB] based on the 2010 Revised Implementation Strategy.
- Setting up a single entry point on the EUROPA portal, with information for children about the EU and the rights of the child. The Commission will invite other EU institutions to join this initiative.
The Commission Communication of July 2006 "Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child", proposed the establishment of an EU policy to promote and safeguard the rights of the child. In the Stockholm programme [1 MB] of 2009, the Commission was asked to prepare a new Communication on the Rights of the Child for the period 2011-14.