Children's rights: combatting exploitation, forced marriage and sexual abuse
MEPs call for more action to combat child trafficking and forced marriage, whilst stressing the crucial contribution that kids make in the fight against climate change.
- Better protect children in war zones and migration
- Fight statelessness: each baby should be recognised by a state
- Give access to age-appropriate sex education to avoid abuses
Following the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November, the European Parliament adopted a resolution, assessing the many challenges that children and youth face today. The text was approved by 495 votes in favour, 58 against and 87 abstentions on Tuesday.
Vulnerable children, children in migration
MEPs condemn all forms of violence against children, including forced marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking, psychological violence and urge all EU countries to work on new strategies to eradicate sexual violence and child abuse both online and offline. They also call on member states to uphold legislation penalising the corporal punishment of kids.
The resolution calls for the Common European Asylum System to be fully implemented to improve conditions for children in migration. The best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all decisions concerning children and migration. In particular, child protection should be the leading principle when dealing with unaccompanied children, rather than migration policies, says the text.
Children in armed conflicts, statelessness, inclusive education
Some children continue to be born stateless, including in the EU, and MEPs call on the countries concerned to address these problems. They also highlight, among others, children with disabilities, migrant backgrounds, children of LGBTI parents, those with imprisoned parents and children of so-called “foreign fighters” as disproportionally exposed to discrimination on multiple grounds.
Concerning children of foreign terrorist fighters held in north-east Syria, the resolution urges all EU countries to repatriate all kids with EU nationalities, taking into account their specific family situation.
The Parliament also calls on all EU countries to guarantee all children the right to an inclusive education, including age-appropriate information about sex and sexuality.
Kids, drivers of change
On a positive note, the resolution highlights the significant role children can play in shaping the political agenda as illustrated by the recent mobilisation against climate change led by young people. It finally urges all countries that have not yet ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its additional protocols to do so as a matter of urgency.
This United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. The European Parliament organised a high-level conference on 20 November to mark its 30th anniversary, attended by, among others, Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians.
- (+32) 2 28 31834 (BXL)
- (+33) 3 881 72420 (STR)
- (+32) 470 88 29 42
- Adopted text will be available here (26.11.2019)
- Watch a video recording of the debate (13.11.2019)
- Topical Digest: 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
- At a glance: EU contribution to the fight against child poverty
- EP Research Briefing: Children's rights and the UN SDGs: A priority for EU external action
- EP Multimedia Package: free photos, video and audio material
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
Latest News from
Energy taxation: Council calls for an updated framework contributing to a climate neutral EU06/12/2019 16:15:00
The conclusions are a direct response to the European Council's call to advance work on the conditions, incentives and enabling framework to ensure a transition to a climate-neutral EU, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Financial architecture for development: Council adopts conclusions on the way forward06/12/2019 15:15:00
The conclusions follow up and build on the report by the Wise Persons' group that was established in April 2019 with the aim of recommending possible options for reforming the existing setup for financing development policies.
Joint statement by the Council and the Commission on "stablecoins"06/12/2019 14:15:00
The Council and the EC adopted the following statement:
Money laundering: Council sets strategic priorities for further reforms06/12/2019 13:15:00
The conclusions are a direct response to the EU strategic agenda for 2019-2024 where the European Council calls for "strengthening our fight against terrorism and cross-border crime, improving cooperation and information-sharing and further developing our common instruments".
Capital markets union: Council sets objectives for the deepening of the project06/12/2019 12:15:00
CMU is an EU initiative which aims to deepen and further integrate the capital markets of EU member states. Together with the banking union, the CMU can help boost cross-border capital flows and thereby strengthen the EU economy.
Deepening the EMU: President Centeno's report to the President of the Euro Summit06/12/2019 11:15:00
The President of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno, has sent a letter to the President of the Euro Summit, Charles Michel, to report on the progress achieved by the Eurogroup on the deepening of the economic and monetary union (EMU).
Leveraging the rail sector for green growth at local and regional level06/12/2019 09:10:00
Local and regional leaders highlight the potential of the rail sector for the EU Green Deal and other key EU policy priorities
Globalisation: how the EU’s trade policy helps to promote human rights05/12/2019 16:10:00
Growing global competition can endanger human rights by for example leading to worker exploitation. The EU uses its trade policy to promote & protect human rights in non-EU countries through preferential trade deals, as well as unilateral trade restrictions.
Malta: MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to assess Caruana Galizia murder inquiry05/12/2019 15:20:00
Following recent developments in the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017, MEPs visited Malta between 3-4 December to take stock of the situation on the ground.
We need an EU strategy in social and affordable housing, says EESC05/12/2019 14:02:00
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for more robust EU housing policies and, at a public conference held in Brussels on 4 December 2019, has asked the EU to adopt urgent common measures in this field: housing policies at European level must make affordable houses available for all Europeans.