United Nations Universal Children’s Day and the protection of children’s rights by the EU

16-11-2017

The United Nations established Universal Children’s Day in 1954. The UN adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1959, and since 1990, the day has also marked the anniversary of the date that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Though the European Union is not a party to the CRC, it is guided by the principles set out in the Convention, which has been ratified by all EU Member States, as well as by Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, which explicitly calls for promoting the protection of the rights of the child. To this end, the EU has adopted guidelines on children’s rights, updated in 2017 in order to address new developments. Three innovative aspects stand out in the new guidelines: rights of unaccompanied and separated migrant children, digital rights of children, and the need for internal-external policy coherence for the rights of the child.

The United Nations established Universal Children’s Day in 1954. The UN adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1959, and since 1990, the day has also marked the anniversary of the date that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Though the European Union is not a party to the CRC, it is guided by the principles set out in the Convention, which has been ratified by all EU Member States, as well as by Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, which explicitly calls for promoting the protection of the rights of the child. To this end, the EU has adopted guidelines on children’s rights, updated in 2017 in order to address new developments. Three innovative aspects stand out in the new guidelines: rights of unaccompanied and separated migrant children, digital rights of children, and the need for internal-external policy coherence for the rights of the child.