Minimum age and social rights: Balancing child protection and participation

Date: 21st November 2018
Category: Civil Rights and Freedoms


The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a new set of findings on the differences in legal minimum ages across Europe covering social rights, education, employment and finance, alternative care and mobility.

International treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, European Union (EU) secondary law and national legislation outline the rights citizens hold across Europe. Across Europe, the age at which children can acquire rights in the EU varies considerably which can have consequences for the protections of children and young people. This report aims to highlight the inconsistencies and restrictions at present in order to inform and support EU Member States’ in addressing these issues.

The findings complement previously released findings on such areas as: marriage and sexual activity; citizenship; political participation; health; religion; migration and asylum procedures; as well as the digital world.

The findings on children in justice as well as children in asylum procedures have also been made into separate reports which point to the need to improve the way age limits are set to achieve consistency and better balance child protection with empowering children.

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