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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article23 April 2024Representation in Cyprus4 min read

Commission issues recommendations to better protect children from violence

The Commission has today adopted the Recommendation on developing and strengthening integrated child protection systems in the best interests of the child, as a commitment in the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child.

The Recommendation will support Member States in strengthening their child protection systems. Authorities at all levels of governance and civil society across all sectors need to work together to protect children from all forms of violence in a coherent and systemic way.

The EU is home to 80 million children. Violence against children remains a significant challenge both inside and outside the EU, at many levels 13% to 29% of 15-year old students report being frequently bullied. Up to 13.7% of adult women reported to have experienced sexual violence in childhood, and this share might even be higher. The actions, and inaction, of governments have a greater impact on children than on any other group in society. Protecting children is both a moral and a legal imperative. It is also a strategic long-term investment in our societies.

Key elements of the Recommendation:

  • Put children at the centre of integrated child protection systems adapting protection systems to children's needs and including children when taking decisions that impact them.
  • Support Member States in adapting their systems to protect any child from any form of violence using EU tools such as legislation, policy, or funding. This starts by preventing and fighting discrimination, providing targeted support, and fostering a societal culture of zero violence against children. 
  • Establish a general framework of integrated child protection systems. Member States are invited to draw up national plans to end violence against children, effectively implement EU and national legislation on child protection, set up coordination structures, strengthen human and financial resources and improve data collection. 
  • Improve coordination and cooperation across sectors and competent authorities through the training of professionals, starting at the local level.
  • Establish comprehensive and coordinated support actions in cases of violence against children, from prevention and early identification to reporting and cross-sectorial support.
  • Respond to children's safety needs online and offline by improving children's digital literacy, promoting the safe use of digital technologies and training families and carers.
  • Protect children's integrity and mental health, prevent and fight (cyber)bullying by encouraging Member States to develop national mental health strategies, with children as the priority target group.
  • Make better use of existing EU tools to strengthen child protection systems: laws, policies, funding support, as listed in the Annex accompanying the communication. Go beyond the EU, prompt Member States to adopt an integrated approach to protect children in their external action, such as eradicating child labour, protecting children in armed conflicts and protecting children from climate change and environmental hazards.



Children's rights are fundamental rights. Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union establishes the objective for the EU to promote the protection of the rights of the child, which is enshrined in Article 24 and 32 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. All EU Member States are parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Recommendation echoes the views of more than 1,000 children collected through the new EU Children's Participation Platform. The broad consultation in preparation of the initiative also includes an open public consultation and a mapping by the Fundamental Rights Agency on child protection systems across Member States.

Three years since the adoption of the first comprehensive EU Strategy on the Rights of the Childthe Commission has delivered on several commitments made under its six thematic areas of action: child participation; fighting child poverty and ensuring social protection, education and healthcare; child protection and fighting violence against children; child-friendly justice; digital and information society and global dimension.

The wide variety of tools at the disposal of Member States, and at Union level (legislation, policies and funding) and across all levels of can support in making child protection systems more integrated. For instance, under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme, the Daphne strand provides funding to prevent and combat gender-based violence and violence against children. A call for proposals is currently open for submission until 29 May 2024, with a specific priority on targeted actions making integrated child protection systems work in practice.

For More Information

Communication Putting children's interests first: a Communication accompanying the Commission Recommendation on integrated child protection systems

Annex to the Communication on developing and strengthening integrated child protection systems in the best interests of the child

Recommendation on developing and strengthening integrated child protection systems in the best interests of the child

Staff working document

Delivering on the EU strategy on the rights of the child - Factsheet

Rights of the child - website

EU action on the rights of the child

EU Children's Participation Platform




Together, we must build a comprehensive system of support and advocacy for a secure and empowering environment for our children. Today’s Recommendation is a step, with all actors and with children, in our journey towards a culture of zero tolerance of violence against children. This key deliverable of the EU Strategy on the rights of the child is a clear example of how we are turning our strategy into action, and a reality for every child.

Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President for Democracy and Demography


Publication date
23 April 2024
Representation in Cyprus