Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child

Addressing the challenges of the 21st century

Nina, a 17 years old Student, uses a megaphone to elevate her voice the environmental issues affecting her
UNICEF/UN0364424/Aliaga Ticona


For the past three decades since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the world had made historic gains for children, and the European Union (EU) has played a significant role in achieving this progress. In many ways though, the CRC stands at a crossroads. Poverty, inequality, discrimination and location continue to deny millions of children their rights. At the same time, the world’s children face alarming new threats to their survival and well-being – from online dangers to the impact of a changing climate, increasing questioning of child rights (especially the rights of the most excluded), and crucially the health, social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With its upcoming Strategy on the Rights of the Child, the EU has a unique opportunity to put into practice a holistic and comprehensive framework, fit for the new challenges and opportunities emerging in the 21st century and in line with the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without the right policies and actions, the realization of all rights for all children everywhere, especially the most vulnerable ones, and the SDGs will never become a reality.

UNICEF has recently released Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child: Addressing the challenges of the 21st century, a brief which provides analysis and recommendations on some of the most pressing priorities of our time: the impact of climate change on children; children and new technologies; mental health; and children in migration.

How the EU responds to these challenges will determine the future of children and in turn, will be instrumental for the success – or failure – of its whole Strategy.