Rights of Children in the EU, 11 new measures

Children’s rights are enshrined in EU law, in particular the EU charter of fundamental rights, The EU and its member countries are legally bound to uphold these laws.  All 27 countries have also ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child.

The European Commission has recently proposed 11 measures to protect children’s rights in Europe and overseas. The measures are as follows:

  • laws to better protect children (as an especially vulnerable group) during legal proceedings and in court
  • laws safeguarding children when they are suspects or accused of a crime
  • new laws ensuring that decisions on parental responsibility following divorce or separation are recognised and enforced in all EU countries
  • action to promote Council of Europe guidelines on child-friendly justice and take them into account in future civil and criminal law-making
  • support for training judges and other professionals to help children in court
  • better training for authorities responsible for unaccompanied children, including those seeking asylum in the EU
  • special attention for children in an upcoming EU plan to help the Roma integrate more in society
  • support for the quick introduction of the EU’s 116 000 hotline for missing children (cross-border alert systems for abducted or at-risk children would also be encouraged)
  • measures to counter cyber-bullying, grooming, exposure to harmful content, and other online risks through the EU’s safer internet programme
  • support in combating violence against children and child sex tourism, and protecting victims of armed conflicts, through the EU’s overseas and humanitarian aid programmes
  • a single EU website on children’s rights

These measures are set out in more detail in a Commission policy paper on children’s rights .

Let’s hope that these measures lead the way to a better world for children.

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