Rights of the child

The rights of the child are important human rights recognised under European and international treaties, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. Children’s rights are also explicitly recognised in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU Treaties. These rights are to be respected, protected and fulfilled by the EU and its Member States. The economic, social, political and environmental challenges that Europe has experienced over recent years have had a significant impact on children. Children with an ethnic background, children living in single parent households or children coming from poor families are at a higher risk of poverty, discrimination and exclusion. Moreover, environmental degradation affects children more than it affects adults. Children can also become easy targets of racism and other forms of violence, such as cyberbullying or child pornography over the internet. It is also an emerging challenge to ensure that the rights of immigrant, asylum seeker or refugee children are respected by the Member States.

Through numerous projects, Milieu has contributed to the understanding of existing and emerging issues and has collected evidence which could be used by policy makers while developing suitable solutions.

Some examples of Milieu’s work in this field are:


The impact of cyberbullying on a child’s well-being can be serious, often resulting in depression, self-harm or even suicide. This study focused on this growing phenomenon among young Europeans under the age of 18. More specifically, the European Parliament asked Milieu to shed light on the extent, scope and forms of cyberbullying in the EU through a comprehensive overview of legislation and policies that are preventing and fighting this phenomenon across all 28 Member States. In addition, Milieu was asked to explore pre-existing good practices in this area through a closer analysis in nine selected Member States (Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom). The study also recommended actions at EU and national levels to further combat cyberbullying of young people.

The final report can be found here.

Historically, children with disabilities have been an invisible group to policy makers and legislators. However, thanks to the initiative of the European Parliament and the work of Milieu, there is now an in-depth comprehensive analysis of national policies across all EU Member States for children with disabilities as well as of the European framework.

This work was carried out across two projects.  Findings showed broad recognition of the rights of children with disabilities under national legal systems but difficulties in their practical implementation, resulting in daily and persistent obstacles. These findings led to a series of recommendations for EU action.

The final report can be found here.

The promotion and protection of children’s rights are key objectives of the EU and are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 24). This study supported these EU objectives and, more specifically, the implementation of the Commission Communication of 15 February 2011 “An EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child“. Making the justice system in Europe more child-friendly was a key action under the EU Agenda. The study established statistics and collected data based on indicators of children involved in criminal, civil and administrative judicial proceedings in all 28 EU Member States in order to provide a statistical and narrative overview of children’s involvement in judicial proceedings in the EU. Milieu was in charge of assisting the Commission with the preparation of a contextual overview per Member State, so that data users could better understand and interpret the data.

The final report can be found here.