Commission calls for better protection of children from violence



The EU is home to 80 million children. Given the alarming statistics of child abuse, violence, and neglect across Europe, the Commission has issued a Recommendation to support EU countries in developing and strengthening child protection systems.

It calls on authorities at all levels of governance and civil society across all sectors to work together to protect children from violence in a coherent and systemic way. The recommendation is part of the EU’s commitment in the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child. It also echoes the views of more than 1,000 children collected through the new EU Children’s Participation Platform.  

The Recommendation puts children at the centre of child protection systems and supports EU countries in adapting their systems to protect any child from any form of violence. It does so by: 

  • Establishing ageneral framework of integrated child protection systems, with EU countries invited to draw up national plans to end violence against children and effectively implement EU and national legislation on child protection. 
  • Improving coordination and cooperation across sectorsand competent authorities through the training of professionals.
  • Establishing comprehensive and coordinated support actions in cases of violence against children.
  • Responding to children’s safety needs online and offline by improving, for example, children’s digital literacy. 
  • Protecting children’s integrity and mental health, preventing and fighting (cyber)bullying, by encouraging countries to develop national mental health strategies.
  • Preventing violence against children by fostering a ‘society-wide responsibility’ to protect children through sufficient preventive measures.
  • Making better use of existing EU tools to strengthen child protection systems including laws, policies, and funding. 

Children’s rights are fundamental rights. Both the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which all EU Member States are party, promote the protection of the rights of the child. This latest recommendation will help the EU push forward its objective of achieving a culture of zero tolerance of violence against children. It also goes beyond EU borders by prompting EU countries to adopt an integrated approach to protect children beyond their borders, such as eradicating child labour, protecting children in armed conflicts and protecting children from climate change and environmental hazards. 

For more information

Rights of the child

The EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the European Child Guarantee

EU Children’s Participation Platform

Combating violence against children and ensuring child protection 

EU Network for Children’s Rights

Press release: Commission issues recommendation to better protect children from violence

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