Leave No Child Behind: Council adopts EU guidelines

Date: 22nd March 2017
Category: General measures of implementation

The European Council have adopted new EU Guidelines for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. This 2017 version is a revision of the 2007 EU guidelines.

The purpose of these EU Guidelines is to recall international standards on the rights of the child and to provide practical guidance to officials of EU institutions and EU Member States in order to (i) strengthen their role in promoting and protecting the rights of all children in EU external action by encouraging and supporting the strengthening of partner countries' own systems, and (ii) further strengthen their cooperation with international and civil society organisations.

The EU should support and encourage partner countries to:

  • Develop child-sensitive indicators and child impact assessments and evaluations for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child;
  • Collect and use disaggregated data for each indicator according to gender, age, income, disability and other factors, and provide information on marginalised, vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, inclusive governance and other issues, consistent with the EU's rights-based approach);
  • Promote solid results frameworks to track progress achieved for child rights through relevant indicators, sound baselines and relevant chain of results;
  • Refer to relevant regional examples of good practice; encourage regional debate on fulfilling the rights of the child;
  • Promote research and building knowledge for a better understanding of child rights and how to enhance protection and prevention of violations (cf. social norms and harmful practices).

The Council Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM) will support the implementation of the Guidelines while involving, when appropriate, geographic Council working groups and the Council Working Party on Development Cooperation (CODEV). Regular exchanges of views will be held with the relevant committees, sub-committees and working groups of the European Parliament on the implementation, evaluation and review of these Guidelines. The promotion and protection of the rights of the child will be integrated into relevant EU policies and actions, including in relation to the EU's role in international fora. Reviews of the implementation of the Guidelines will take place at regular intervals.