This book examines in detail the status of children in the EU. Drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives, including the sociology of childhood and human rights discourse, it offers a critical analysis of the legal and policy framework underpinning EU children's rights across a range of areas, including family law, education, immigration and child protection. Traditionally children's rights at this level have been articulated primarily in the context of the free movement of persons provisions, inevitably restricting entitlement to migrant children of EU nationality. In the past decade, however, invative interpretations of EU law by the Court of Justice, coupled with important constitutional developments, have prompted the development of a much more robust children's rights agenda. This culminated in the incorporation of a more explicit reference to children's rights in the Lisbon Treaty, followed by the Commission's launch, in February 2011, of a dedicated EU 'Agenda' to promote and safeguard the rights of the child. The analysis presented in this book therefore comes at a pivotal point in the history of EU children's rights, providing a detailed and critical overview of a range of substantive areas, and making an important contribution to international children's rights studies.
Helen Stalford is Professor of Law and Director of the European Children's Rights Unit at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool.