Embedding a childrens rights perspective in policy and decision-making

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Embedding a childrens rights perspective in policy and decision-making:

This policy memo provides an overview of the extent to which children’s rights are promoted and taken into account in policies and practice. The memo considers policy frameworks at national level as well as those at EU level. It also discusses ways in which policies and wider initiatives facilitate children’s participation in decisions about their future.

Recorded on 3rd of October 2019

Childrens rights perspective in policy and decision-making


Author: Iakovidou, E., Janta, B. and Stewart, K.,

Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union

Date: 2019

Geographic Coverage: Europe

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Not Specified

Type of participation: N/A

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Decision-making, Participation, Children’s Rights, Framework


Child-rights approaches established at the beginning of the 20th century focus on the child as an active and autonomous agent of social change in contrast to the historically embedded status of the child as an object in need of protection because of their vulnerability. Child-rights approaches are founded on the principles of equality, inclusion and social justice and presented as the new norm in policymaking without much questioning. The UNCRC adopted in 1989 re-confirmed the status of children by recognising children’s social, civil, cultural, economic and political rights,  which should be exercised without discrimination, ensuring the best interests of the child and respecting the views of the child.

The UNCRC provides an international framework of 54 articles to ensure, among others, the protection of children’s social, emotional and cognitive development, the promotion of their physical and mental health and wellbeing as well as their civic participation in the community.5 The UNCRC, which is signed and ratified by all EU Member States, sets the legal framework for children’s rights and provides a context for policy action