The European Commission has adopted a Strategy on the Rights of the Child to help tackle poverty and social exclusion. The strategy, which was adopted on 24 March, aims to protect and promote the rights of children and build the best possible life for them both in the European Union (EU) and across the world.
The strategy outlines six thematic areas, with proposed actions to achieve each area. One of the thematic areas is enabling children to realise their full potential, no matter their social background. To work towards this, the Commission also released a Proposal for a Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee. The Child Guarantee aims to promote equal opportunities for the large proportion of European children living at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
The Child Guarantee recommends that EU Member States provide free, readily-available and effective access to key services for at-risk children. These services include early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities, at least one healthy meal each school day and access to healthcare.
The strategy’s other thematic areas are:
- freeing children from violence;
- ensuring children’s right to child-friendly justice;
- providing tools for children to safely navigate the digital environment;
- ensuring children’s rights across the world;
- enabling children to actively participate in civic and democratic life.
In keeping with the strategy’s aim to enable children’s participation, children were actively involved and consulted during its development.
The EU is providing funding to support Member States and will monitor the implementation of the strategy at both EU and national levels. Children will be invited to participate in an evaluation of the strategy in 2024.
More information on the strategy and the European Child Guarantee is available on the Commission’s website.