World Children's Day: Joint Statement by the European Commission 2022
33 years after the signature of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we highlight the fact that children's rights are universal human rights. The European Year of Youth has been key to ensuring that the concerns and needs of children and young people remain at the heart of EU policymaking.
The EU is committed to ensuring the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of the child is a Treaty objective and a core commitment of the European Union. Every child, regardless of its background, origins, socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation or abilities has access to the exactly the same set of rights and protection.
Within the EU, one in four children remain at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The European Child Guarantee ensures free and effective access for children in need to early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities, health school meals, healthcare, as well as effective access to healthy nutrition and adequate housing. In full recognition of the pivotal role children and young people play as agents of change, we are creating more space for children, and to participate meaningfully in our decision-making through the setup of an EU Children's Participation Platform.
Around the world, children are going online earlier and staying online for longer. To ensure their protection, empowerment and respect, we have launched a new strategy for a Better Internet for Kids. In May, the Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation on preventing and combating child sexual abuse to put in place a legal obligation for companies to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse material from their networks.
To strengthen our engagement with children and young people worldwide, and help amplify their role in shaping their societies' future we have launched the first Youth Action Plan in EU External Action.
Half of all children worldwide suffer some form of violence each year, and children are the first victims of war, crisis, disasters, climate change. The EU has made the prevention of grave violations against children affected by armed conflict, their effective reintegration and safe schools and communities a priority.