EU strategy on the Rights of the Child - pillar 3

Protecting children from violence

Children can be victims, witnesses, as well as perpetrators of violence, starting from their own homes, in school, in leisure and recreational activities, in the justice system, offline as well as online. Socially or culturally accepted forms of violence against children constitute deeply entrenched barriers in the EU, where to date only 23 EU countries have completely prohibited corporal punishment. Experiencing violence in childhood may have long-life consequences.

National child protection systems are put in place to protect children from violence. Strengthening child protection systems was the main topic of the 2015 European forum on the rights of the child where ten principles for integrated child protection systems were discussed.

The 116 000 and 116 111 hotlines are a key part of the child protection systems.

Safeguarding children is crucial for organisations working for and with children. They should be guided by child protection policies and have reporting mechanisms in place. This is requested under the CERV funding.

EU actions that help children grow free from violence

Under the new EU Strategy on the rights of the child, the Commission committed to:

  • put forward a legislative proposal to combat gender-based violence against women and domestic violence, while supporting the finalisation of the EU’s accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence;
  • table a recommendation on the prevention of harmful practices against women and girls, including female genital mutilation;
  • present an initiative aimed at supporting the development and strengthening of integrated child protection systems, which will encourage all relevant authorities and services to better work together, in a system that puts the child at the centre;
  • support the exchange of good practices on ending non-vital surgery and medical intervention on intersex infants and adolescents to make them fit the typical definition of male or female without their or their parents’ fully informed consent (intersex genital mutilation).