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Children’s Day: FRA Agency’s publication on legal minimum ages across EU

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On Universal Children’s Day, 20th November the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a new set of findings on differences in legal minimum ages to help the EU and its Member States eliminate inconsistencies, protection gaps and seemingly arbitrary restrictions resulting from different age thresholds. To highlight these differences the Agency mapped the national legal age requirements in various areas across the EU.

The web publication Mapping minimum age requirements concerning the rights of the child in the EU, covers differences in legal minimum ages in the field of marriage and sexual activity; citizenship; political participation; health; and religion.

The findings underline the wide differences in the limits set by Member States across different areas. They point to the need to improve the way age limits are set to achieve consistency and better balance the need to protect children with the need to empower children. The Agency’s report will contribute to the debate on minimum ages together with UNICEF (PDF document to download) and the Child Rights International Network (CRIN), which stress the limits and contradictions of simple age-based restrictions.

The publication is available on the Agency website in the form of interactive maps on this link: http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2017/mapping-minimum-age-requirements-concerning-rights-child-eu