Can the EU live up to the expectations of its child citizens?

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
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  • 1 School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire;, Email: CSALarkins@uclan.ac.uk

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Abstract

There has been increasing interest in children's rights from the EU, seen in the Commission's 2006 Communication (COM(367) Final 2006), the Treaty of Lisbon 2009 and the Commission's 2011 Communication An EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child (COM(2011) 60 final). The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union Article 24(1), states that children 'may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern them in accordance with their age and maturity.' The time is therefore ripe to address the views of children towards the EU, in the expectation that the EU may be ready to take them into consideration. In research in two EU Member States, fifty-five children aged 5 to 13 – in groups of refugee, minority ethnic, looked after, gypsy traveller, disabled and young caring children – developed claims for citizenship. This article looks at examples of the groups' claims in the context of EU policy, to explore what the EU could do to live up to the expectations of these young citizens.

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