Studies, Reviews and Research

Children’s rights – as they see them

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The European Commission

Children have good ideas. They can think of things that adults would not. Furthermore, full respect of the best interests of the child, which is among the key principles in child rights protection, requires that children are given opportunities to voice their opinions on matters that affect them. The Commission’s Directorate General for Justice sought the views of girls and boys from all 27 EU Member States on the topic of children’s rights. Teenagers from a variety of backgrounds discussed what it meant to be a child in the year 2010. They talked about the obstacles they faced in exercising their rights and the actions they would like to see from the adult world.
In February 2011, the Commission adopted “An EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child”. When
preparing this document, the Commission drew on ideas from the consultation with children, the results of which are presented in this publication.
In their own words, children explain that they want adults to have more confidence in them,
show greater respect for their views and involve them more in decision making processes. Children want to be active participants in the decisions being made about them and to feel that their opinions are respected.

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