Legal basis

The rights of the child 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.

Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union establishes the objective for the EU to promote protection of the rights of the child.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU guarantees the protection of the rights of the child by the EU institutions and by EU countries when they implement EU law. Article 24 on the rights of the child and Article 31 on the prohibition of child labour specifically cover children's rights.

Funding for child protection

The rights, equality and citizenship programme 2014-2020 aims to promote the rights of the child and prevent violence against children, young people, women and other groups at risk.

Check compilation of EU-funded projects on rights of the child and violence against children 

Child protection policies

Organisations working 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.   

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Coordinator for the rights of the child

The Commission coordinator for the rights of the child (Margaret Tuite) and an inter-service group coordinate work among all the departments of the Commission to make sure that the rights of the child are properly considered in all relevant policies and actions.


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