The EU and the Global Promotion of Children’s Rights Norms
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The European Union (EU) has embraced the promotion of children’s rights, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as a key objective of its external policy. This chapter critically examines the EU’s role as an international children’s rights actor by assessing the effectiveness of EU external actions aimed at upholding children’s rights. It is demonstrated that children’s rights have emerged as an entrenched EU accession condition, particularly due to the EU’s intervention in child protection in Romania before 2007. The EU has also endeavoured to address the violation of children’s rights via the employment of thematic programmes, such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Investing in People (IiP), which are part of EU development and democratisation policies. The EU’s external policy on children’s rights, however, has faced shortcomings, such as the promotion of a narrow interpretation (a ‘needs-based’ approach) of children’s rights, ineffective mainstreaming, lack of expertise, and the complexity of translating abstract principles into effective measures. Despite these shortcomings, the EU has emerged as a significant international children’s rights actor, and its actions to advance children’s rights have attached greater salience and political visibility to the plight of children across the world.
KeywordsEuropean Union Armed Conflict Child Protection Thematic Programme International Adoption
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