Excerpts from the communication: This Communication proposes to establish a comprehensive EU strategy to effectively promote and safeguard the rights of the child in the European Union's internal and external policies and to support Member States' efforts in this field. The Commission identified children's rights as one of its main priorities in its Communication on Strategic Objectives 2005-2009: "A particular priority must be effective protection of the rights of children, both against economic exploitation and all forms of abuse, with the Union acting as a beacon to the rest of the world"6. In this context, the Group of Commissioners on Fundamental Rights, Non-discrimination and Equal Opportunities decided in April 2005 to launch a specific initiative to advance the promotion, protection and fulfilment of children's rights in the internal and external policies of the EU. In March 2006, the European Council requested the Member States "to take necessary measures to rapidly and significantly reduce child poverty, giving all children equal opportunities, regardless of their social background". This communication gives effect to these decisions.