Developing indicators for the protection, respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the European Union

Developing indicators for the protection,respect and promotion of the rights of the child in the European Union


Date of publication:  20 Nov 2010 Publisher:  Fundamental Rights Agency Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

The indicators presented in this report provide an initial toolkit to evaluate the impact of already adopted EU law and policy on children’s status and experience across various fields. They highlight the limitations of and gaps in current provisions and data, providing a springboard for future legal, policy and research development. The indicators cover several areas of substantive law and policy, and complement and build on other efforts to develop child indicators and monitoring processes at EU level. They adopt a pragmatic approach respecting the boundaries of the EU competence, which has been exercised so far, and recognising the individual and collective roles of the local, national, European and international authorities in addressing different aspects of the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of the child. This report adopts the provisions, principles and processes enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a fundamental starting point for monitoring and developing children’s rights at EU level. This is based on the assumption that EU mechanisms as they currently exist do not provide a sufficiently robust framework to independently achieve this. For instance, at a very basic substantive level, there is still no concrete, consistent definition of ‘child’ under EU law; very little formal EU legislation is directly concerned with accommodating children’s interests and needs; and most relevant EU provisions are framed in rather vague and optional terms. Furthermore, while coherent sets of indicators that have some relevance to children are being developed at EU level, they are not generally grounded in a children’s rights approach. As the Committee of the Regions has noted, the CRC could be used as a framework that would not just come into play where rights are being violated, but also be broadly applied to promote the development and opportunities of all children and young people. The report also adopts the definition of indicators followed by the UN report on indicators for monitoring compliance with international human rights instruments. The UN report defines the indicators as specific information on the state of an event, activity or an outcome that can be related to human rights norms and standards; that address and reflect human rights concerns and principles; and that are used to assess and monitor promotion and protection of human rights. The report focuses on specific areas of EU activity which impact in a measurable way on children, giving priority to depth over breadth, enabling a detailed exploration of how EU law and policy affect children’s rights, and whether they comply with and reinforce the international standards set by the CRC. These criteria assisted in identifying the following four core areas of analysis, which capture a significant proportion of existing EU provisions of direct relevance to children: * family environment and alternative care (Section 4.1); * protection from exploitation and violence (Section 4.2); * adequate standard of living (Section 4.3);

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European Union

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