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The European Union and Children's Rights

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The European Union and Children's Rights

SUMMARY OF:

EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child - COM(2011) 60 final

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS COMMUNICATION DO?

It presents an agenda to strengthen and protect children's rights as set out in the principles of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). All EU policies which impact on children should respect their rights.

KEY POINTS

Children's rights should be an integral part of EU policy making. This means that a ‘fundamental rights check’ is part of every piece of draft legislation.

The EU's different justice systems must become more child-friendly. This applies to

family law disputes,

registration of documents,

custody,

criminal and prison proceedings,

civil status and

treatment of children as vulnerable witnesses.

Most vulnerable children need protection whether they are

disabled,

at risk of poverty,

victims of sexual exploitation or trafficking,

seeking asylum or

on their own.

Advice should be given to experienced and well-trained professionals, who can help children handle the trauma they have experienced, to understand the rights and needs of the different age groups.

Special attention should be available to Roma children in the EU since they are particularly vulnerable and exposed.

The EU operates a hotline (No: 116 000) for missing children.

The EU is committed to enforcing children's rights worldwide to protect them from threats such as violence, child labour, armed conflict and sex tourism.

The EU makes sure

children are aware of their rights,

can voice their opinions,

are consulted and listened to, and

receive information about EU policies that could affect them.

BACKGROUND

Protecting the rights of the child are recognised in the Treaty on European Union (Article 3(3) and in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 24).

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: An EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child (COM(2011) 60 final of 15.2.2011)

last update 25.01.2016

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