The Council of Europe believes that children are fully-fledged holders of human rights and not mere subjects of protection. Children must enjoy the protection offered by all international human rights treaties. The European Convention on Human Rights applies equally to all individuals: children thus enjoy the same protection as adults. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) confirms this and further strengthens the protection of children’s rights.

The Council of Europe builds on this understanding and seeks to secure better implementation of children’s rights in the member states by raising awareness and working in co-operation with national authorities. Eliminating all forms of violence against children, including sexual violence, exploitation and corporal punishment; promoting child-friendly justice and social services; guaranteeing the rights of children in vulnerable situations; and promoting children’s participation in decisions affecting them are among the key objectives of the Council of Europe’s activities in the area of children’s rights. All these objectives are anchored in the UNCRC.