Children's Rights in EU Law
Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper Series No. 2013-08
12 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2013 Last revised: 25 Aug 2014
Date Written: October 10, 2013
This paper addresses the question of how EU rights of children should be interpreted and applied in the light of international children’s rights principles, in particular dignity. In other words, what normative framework should inform the enforcement of children’s rights in Europe? The analysis of this problem, first, necessitates a brief exploration of the concept of dignity underlying established international children’s rights instruments, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Subsequently, the institutional framework for the protection of children’s dignity as a principle of EU law is explored on the basis of the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU. The codification of the concept of dignity in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights then is addressed, focussing on its meaning for the interpretation and application of the rights of the child protected under Article 24 of the Charter. Children’s rights in EU law are evaluated in light of the principle of dignity adhered to in international law; to what extent do they overlap and to what extent do they put forward a different, genuinely European idea or ideal? On the basis of this assessment, it is submitted that the further development of the normative framework for safeguarding children’s rights in the EU needs to address the possibility of taking a shared, European vision on the requirements of children’s dignity in the context of the internal market, which may guide the empowerment and protection of children under the Charter.
Keywords: EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, children's rights, dignity, legal pluralism, European contract law
JEL Classification: K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation