European Parliament resolution on the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

24/11/2014
European Parliament resolution on the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child
 
 
(...) 3. Welcomes the EU’s commitment to further developing integrated EU child protection guidelines in order to reduce fragmentation resulting from issue-based responses dealing with specific child protection concerns, so as to ensure that all children across the EU are effectively protected against all forms of violence;
 
4. Calls on the Commission to monitor and report on the implementation of its recommendation entitled ‘Investing in Children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’ in the Member States and to ensure access to quality services and participation of children; calls on those Member States with above-average rates of child poverty to set national targets and prioritise investments aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion among children and young people;
 
5. Calls on the EU and its Member States to make the Millennium Development Goals the top priority in their internal policies and their relations with third countries; highlights the fact that these objectives, especially poverty eradication, access to education for all and gender equality, will only be achieved through the development of public services which are accessible to all;
 
6. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to integrate an explicit child and youth focus in the European Semester, the Annual Growth Survey and a revised Europe 2020 strategy in order to better implement the Commission recommendation entitled ‘Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’;
 
7. Calls on the Commission to ensure increased coordination within its different services with a view to effectively mainstreaming children’s rights in all EU legislative proposals, policies and financial decisions and monitoring their full compliance with the EU acquis on children and with obligations under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child; calls on the Commission to ensure that the mandate and resources of the children’s rights coordinator adequately reflect the EU’s commitment to systematically PE539.008v01-00 8/12 RE\1041417EN.doc EN and effectively mainstreaming children’s rights;
 
8. Calls on the Commission to seize the opportunity afforded by the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework to ensure that EU funds benefit the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children;
 
9. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to explicitly consider children as a priority when programming and implementing regional and cohesion policies, such as the European disability strategy, the EU framework for national Roma integration strategies and the EU’s equality and non-discrimination policy; reiterates the importance of protecting and promoting equal access to all rights for Roma children;
 
10. Insists that all children’s rights policies must integrate a gender equality perspective, and calls for specific measures to strengthen the rights of girls, including to education and health;
 
11. Calls on the Member States to ensure that the principle of the best interests of the child is respected in all legislation, in decisions taken by government representatives at all levels and in all court decisions, and encourages the Member States to share best practices with a view to improving the correct application of the principle of the best interests of the child across the EU;
 
12. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary action to ensure that all children can effectively access justice systems that are tailored to their specific needs and rights, whether as suspects, perpetrators, victims or parties to proceedings;
 
13. Calls on the Commission to assess the impact of detention policies and criminal justice systems on children; points out that across the EU children’s rights are directly affected in the case of children living in detention facilities with their parents; underlines the fact that an estimated 800 000 children in the EU are separated from an imprisoned parent each year, which impacts on the rights of children in multiple ways;
 
14. Considers that children are vulnerable in their access to goods and services; calls on the business community and stakeholders to refrain from aggressive and misleading advertising to children, both online and offline, including by implementing existing codes of conduct and similar initiatives; considers that advertising aimed at children for food with high fat, salt or sugar content should be done responsibly, bearing in mind the increase in child obesity and diabetes;
 
15. Considers that children’s personal data online must be duly protected and that children need to be informed in an accessible and child-friendly manner about the risks and consequences of using their personal data online; stresses that online profiling of children should be prohibited; considers that all children should have the right to enjoy a healthy and safe environment and access to play;
 
16. Calls on the Member States to implement Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, as the majority of victims of trafficking are young girls and boys who are child victims of labour and sexual exploitation and other abuses; calls also for the Member States and the EU to strengthen police and judicial RE\1041417EN.doc 9/12 PE539.008v01-00 EN cooperation with a view to preventing and prosecuting such crimes; calls on the Member States to take measures to combat the illicit transfer of children, to work in cooperation with third countries to address the growing problem of child smuggling and trafficking, and to prosecute traffickers, with appropriate sanctions;
 
17. Considers that steps must be taken to combat cyber bullying, and that children, teachers, and youth and children’s organisations must play an active role in raising awareness of this issue;
 
18. Calls for the EU and its Member States to invest in public services for children, including childcare, education and health;
 
19. Calls on the Member States to implement Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, and child pornography, and to strengthen the legal ability, technical capabilities and financial resources of law enforcement authorities to increase cooperation, including with Europol, with a view to investigating and dismantling child sex offender networks more effectively, while prioritising the rights and safety of the children involved;
 
20. Calls for an effective partnership approach and information exchange between law enforcement agencies, judicial authorities, the ICT industry, internet service providers (ISPs), the banking sector and non-governmental organisations, including youth and children’s organisations, with a view to ensuring the rights and protection of children online and regarding them as vulnerable persons under the law; calls on the Commission to take the initiative of asking all the Member States to take action to tackle all forms of cyber predation and cyber bullying;
 
21. Considers that unaccompanied children are particularly vulnerable; calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement Parliament’s resolution of 12 September 2013 on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU; calls on the Member States to fully implement the Common European Asylum System package in order to improve the condition of unaccompanied minors in the EU; calls on the Member States to take action to end the detention of migrant children across the EU; welcomes the Court of Justice judgment in Case C-648/11 MA, BT, DA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, which stated that the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application made in more than one Member State by an unaccompanied minor is the State in which the minor is present after having lodged an application there; recalls that an unaccompanied minor is above all a child who is potentially in danger and that child protection, rather than immigration policies, must be the leading principle for Member States and the EU when dealing with unaccompanied minors, thus respecting the core principle of the best interests of the child;
 
22. Calls on all the Member States to implement the standards set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for children deprived of parental care, and in the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children; calls on the Commission to use the EU structural funds to support the transition from institutional to community-based services; calls on the Commission, in view of the considerable number of cases alleging that public authorities in some Member States have proceeded with forced adoption without parental consent, to put forward specific measures to ensure that the adoption PE539.008v01-00 10/12 RE\1041417EN.doc EN practices carried out in the Member States are in the best interests of child;
 
23. Calls on all the Member States to facilitate family reunification in a positive, humane and expeditious manner, in line with Article 10 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
 
24. Stresses the need for a more coordinated approach to finding missing children in the EU; calls on the Member States to increase police and judicial cooperation in cross-border cases involving missing children and to develop hotlines to search for missing children and support victims of child abuse; calls on the Member States to facilitate the smooth accession of Morocco, Singapore, the Russian Federation, Albania, Andorra, Seychelles, Gabon and Armenia to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;
 
25. Calls on the Commission, in revising Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, to take serious note of the best interests of the child, in view of the loopholes in the implementation and enforcement of this regulation in the Member States as regards parental and custody rights;
 
26. Condemns any form of violence against children, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, forced marriages, child labour, prostitution, trafficking, torture, honour killing, female genital mutilation, the use of child soldiers and of children as human shields, deprivation, neglect and malnutrition; considers that tradition, culture and religion should never be used to justify violence against children; calls on the Member States to uphold their obligations and combat any form of violence against children, including by formally prohibiting and sanctioning corporal punishment against children; calls on the Member States to increase their cooperation and dialogue with third countries, to raise awareness and to advocate for children’s rights to be respected everywhere in the world;