Children’s rights and EU political agenda

European Union is collectively the biggest donor for international aid in the world

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – Child rights organisations across the EU are mobilising in the lead-up to the European Parliament election next month to highlight the devastating reality children are facing around the world.

This reality is one where child hunger is on the rise for the first time in generations and where children bear the brunt of an unequal food system disrupted by conflicts and climate change while being the least responsible for them. Globally, more than one in six children are living in a conflict zone, one in four children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion and approximately one billion children face an extremely high risk from the impacts of the climate crisis.

The European Union is collectively the biggest donor of international aid in the world and have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in ensuring that children everywhere can have healthy and happy lives. This starts by investing in child-related official development assistance.

With only a few more weeks remaining before the EU elections, this is the time for the people who will represent us at the EU level to pledge to prioritise the best interests of the child and adopt a child rights-based approach as fundamental principles guiding all EU decisions, actions and investments. We are calling EU election candidates to sign the Child Manifesto – a series of commitments to protecting and mainstreaming children’s rights, tackling child poverty and inequality, boosting child participation and ensuring that EU institutions invest more and better in children’s futures.


We must work together to ensure that the 2024 EU elections will not be a missed opportunity but a turning point to bring children’s rights to the top of the EU political agenda. – Yours, etc,



World Vision Ireland,


Dublin 6.