Geoffrey Shannon: Child-welfare law must keep pace with our changing world
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights was given full legal effect with the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty in 2009.
It grants all of us entitlements as EU citizens which we can seek to vindicate through the courts, to the European Court of Justice if needs be.
While all articles in the charter apply to children, Article 24 provides specifically for children's rights. It contains key human rights principles drawn from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They include the right of the child to have his or her voice heard as well as the right of the child to protection and care. Children also have the right under this article to regular and direct contact with their parents, unless it is contrary to their best interests.