The EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child has been developed for children and with children. Children should have access to information provided in a child friendly way so they can clearly know what their rights are and, in this case, what the EU plans to do for them. The child friendly versions of the strategy were co-designed by children and present the information in a digestible way for their readers. Children advised on the language, images and examples used in the leaflets. Moreover, the child friendly version of the strategy is accessible for visually impaired readers and can be accessed using assistive devices and technology.


The EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child

The EU strategy on the rights of the child The European Union's Plan for Children's Rights










Every child in Europe and across the world should enjoy the same rights and live free from discrimination and intimidation of any kind. In the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, the Commission addresses persisting and emerging challenges and proposes concrete actions to protect, promote and fulfil children’s rights in today’s ever-changing world.


No policy regarding children should be designed without their voices. Thanks to the efforts of leading child rights agencies and organisations, both the Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the European Child Guarantee benefitted from the input of more than 10,000 children. Their views were collected through an online questionnaire and other forms of consultations. The principle report following this consultation process was launched on 23 February 2021 at an online event with children, in which Vice-President Šuica, and Commissioners Reynders and Schmit participated. Child participation in the EU’s political and democratic life is one of the six thematic areas of the Strategy.

Thematic areas of the Strategy

European Child Guarantee

Disadvantage and exclusion at an early age have an impact on children’s ability to succeed later. It means they are more likely to drop out of school and have fewer chances to find decent jobs later. This often creates a cycle of disadvantage across generations.

European Child Guarantee - cycle of disadvantage

The European Child Guarantee aims at breaking this cycle. It provides guidance and means for Member States to support children in need, i.e. persons under the age of 18 at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

Member States should guarantee:

FREE AND EFFECTIVE ACCESS for children in need to

early childhood education and care European Child Guarantee - early childhood education and care
education and school-based activities European Child Guarantee - education and school-related activities
at least one healthy meal each school day European Child Guarantee - at least one healthy meal each school day
healthcare European Child Guarantee - healthcare

EFFECTIVE ACCESS for children in need to

healthy nutrition European Child Guarantee - healthy nutrition
adequate housing European Child Guarantee - adequate housing

Member States can draw on EU funding to support their actions under the Child Guarantee, in particular from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and Next Generation EU.

The European Child Guarantee complements the second theme of the Strategy on the Rights of the Child. As it puts Principle 11 of the European Pillar of Social Rights on “Childcare and support to children” into action, the Guarantee is therefore a key deliverable of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan which sets out concrete initiatives to turn the European Pillar of Social Rights into reality.

More information on the rights of the child

18.3% of the EU population and 30.3% of the world population are children
22.2% of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion
1/2 of children worldwide are victims of violence each year
Of asylum applicants to the EU in 2020, 1/3 were children. Out of 119.400, 2.850 were unaccompanied.
In the EU 33% of girls and 20% of boys experienced disturbing content online once a month in 2020
Worldwide 9.6% of children are forced into child labour




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