EHN response to the Commission consultation on the EU Strategy on the Rights of the child (2021 - 2024)

December 07th 2020

On this page, you can find EHN's response to the Commission's public consultation on the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2021 - 2024).  EHN's response focuses mainly on the aspect of marketing of unhealthy foods to children.

In this response, EHN focuses on the fact that the EU should:

  • adopt an evidence-led, child-rights based approach to harmful marketing and regulate it strictly to protect all children (0-18 years) from its harmful impact.
  • entrust the regulation of harmful marketing to DG Health (as was done for tobacco)
  • recognise that Codes of Conduct do not protect children from exposure to unhealthy food marketing. It should adopt EU-wide legally binding provisions to this effect.

More specifically:

  • The EU should only allow harmful commercial advertising and marketing on television from 11pm to 6am when children can reasonably be expected not to watch television.
  • The EU should ban all online commercial advertising and marketing for harmful goods, services and brands, in particular for unhealthy foods and drinks
  • The EU should ensure that the GDPR, which bans the extraction of children's personal data for commercial advertising and marketing purposes, is effectively enforced.
  • The EU should prohibit all forms of harmful commercial advertising and marketing in print media sold to consumers of less than 18 years of age.
  • The EU should limit the sponsorship of sports and other events with a cross-border appeal to adult-only events.
  • The EU should prevent the use of marketing techniques appealing to children on packaging, including the use of celebrities and characters popular with children (both licensed and equity brand characters).

EHN worked together with other health and consumer organisations on this topic and contributed to this joint statement.