Violence towards children in the EU

14-11-2014

Violence against children takes diverse forms and occurs in various different contexts. It can have serious, harmful consequences in both the short and long term, and estimates of the scale of the problem are alarming. It results from a complex interaction of various risk factors, but can be avoided through effective prevention policies. A number of international instruments have been adopted to safeguard and promote children’s rights. The cornerstone in this framework of instruments is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19 of which lays down the right of a child to be protected from all forms of violence and the obligation on states to take all appropriate measures to protect children. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, protection of children’s rights has been explicitly recognised as an objective which the EU has an obligation to pursue. While child protection systems fall mainly within the responsibility of the Member States, the EU also plays an important role. Its actions have a direct impact on laws and policies implemented at national level. The aim of future EU guidelines on integrated child protection systems will be to set out areas in which the EU may be able to provide support to national systems and encourage the exchange of good practice.

Violence against children takes diverse forms and occurs in various different contexts. It can have serious, harmful consequences in both the short and long term, and estimates of the scale of the problem are alarming. It results from a complex interaction of various risk factors, but can be avoided through effective prevention policies. A number of international instruments have been adopted to safeguard and promote children’s rights. The cornerstone in this framework of instruments is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19 of which lays down the right of a child to be protected from all forms of violence and the obligation on states to take all appropriate measures to protect children. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, protection of children’s rights has been explicitly recognised as an objective which the EU has an obligation to pursue. While child protection systems fall mainly within the responsibility of the Member States, the EU also plays an important role. Its actions have a direct impact on laws and policies implemented at national level. The aim of future EU guidelines on integrated child protection systems will be to set out areas in which the EU may be able to provide support to national systems and encourage the exchange of good practice.