Answer to Written Question: Harmonising public guardianship laws and combating sexual exploitation in the Member States

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Ms Johansson

on behalf of the European Commission


Children in migration are often exposed to risks of abuse and extreme forms of violence – war, violent conflict exploitation, human trafficking, physical, psychological and sexual abuse – before and/or after their arrival on EU territory. The Commission underlined in the 2017 Communication on the protection of children in migration[1] and in the recent EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child[2] that the particular vulnerability of children in migration requires additional and targeted protection and support. In this respect, the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child will complement and reinforce the actions envisaged under the EU strategy on combatting trafficking in human beings[3], as well as the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse[4]. In 2021, the Commission will propose a Regulation on the detection, removal and reporting of child sexual abuse online.[5] Linked to this, it will also explore the set-up of a European centre to prevent and counter child sexual abuse and to work with companies and law enforcement bodies, to identify victims and bring offenders to justice.

The Commission does not intend to propose a harmonisation of guardianship systems for unaccompanied migrant children across the Member States. The diversity of guardianship models is a reflection of the social and cultural diversity of the Member States, and is to be welcome as long as guardianship systems ensure proper protection for the children. In the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, the Commission recommended that Member States strengthen their guardianship systems for unaccompanied children, including through participation to the activities of the European Guardianship Network.

[1] COM(2017)211 final of 12.4.2017.

[2] COM(2021)142 of 24.3.2021.

[3] COM(2021)171 final of 14.4.2021.

[4] COM(2020)607.

[5] See Inception impact assessment: Fighting child sexual abuse: detection, removal and reporting of illegal content online (

%d bloggers like this: