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EU action to protect children from violence and when they are vulnerable

The EU fights against many forms of violence perpetrated against children. Some children are particularly vulnerable and face greater risks to their lives and well-being due to social, political and economic factors.

Protecting children from violence and when they are vulnerable

Children when they are vulnerable can lack opportunities in society and access to quality services in education or health. They can also experience physical and emotional violence or abuse and exploitation, which are detrimental to their well-being, physical and mental health, and may even be life-threatening. Some categories of children who can face greater threats to their rights and well-being are, for example:

  • children at risk of poverty and social exclusion;
  • children with disabilities;
  • children seeking asylum;
  • unaccompanied or separated children;
  • Roma children;
  • those exposed to cyber criminality or bullying;
  • victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking;
  • missing children.

EU actions also extend to children outside the EU, for example in cases where children are subject to:

  • child sex tourism ;
  • child labour ; and
  • when they are involved in armed conflicts.

The Commission also produced a Communication: Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010-2014)pdf [74 KB] . It helps coping with the considerable number of third-country nationals or stateless minors arriving or left unaccompanied within the EU's territory.

Background documents

General comments of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on:

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