The project Age Matters! was developed by the UNICEF Regional Office for Central Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) and Youth Policy Labs, who were commissioned to do the research.
The project included a legislative mapping, taking stock of existing age-related legal provisions for children, adolescents and youth in 70 domains in 22 countries and territories in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It also included a consultation in five countries
(Armenia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Romania, Ukraine), involving 5,725 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 17 who participated in an online survey, and 241 adolescents who shared their views across 30 focus group discussions.
National data can be found by clicking on the respective country in the map on the main page. The regional data can be accessed via the top menu on the main page and is grouped in six thematic sections:
• Civic and legal rights contains data on adolescents’ access to justice and in the criminal system, as well as the official age of majority and exceptions to this rule. It also presents
various ages at which children have to be consulted in matters affecting them.Data from the consultation focuses on adolescents’ views regarding criminal responsibility.
• Political participation relates to children’s rights to participate in political life (e.g. in dedicated children or youth organisations, general elections). Data from the consultation focuses on adolescents’ views regarding voting.
• Social participation centres on minimum marriageable age and the age at which adolescents can consent to sexual activities. Data from the consultation focuses on adolescents’ views regarding marriage.
• Economic participation and education are merged, as they are closely related. The age until which school is mandatory has a strong connection to the age at which children can be legally employed. Other important age-related legislation in this field concerns the age at which children can inherit and become economically active on their own behalf. Data from the consultation focuses on adolescents’ views regarding school and work.
• Health relates to legislation that determines adolescents access to services and treatment. In this field we also look at minimum ages at which children can access alcohol and tobacco legally. Data from the consultation focuses on adolescents’ views regarding medical advice and medical treatment.
• Safety, security and ICT presents data on the protection of children from involvement in conflicts, their protection in legal proceedings and their rights in the digital sphere. Safety, security and ICT was not a major theme in the consultation, and therefore no data on adolescent views is presented.