The EACH Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The 10 principles of the EACH Charter relate in many respects to the rights of the child in general as stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as well as to the recognition of children's different emotional and developmental needs depending on their age.
In addition, the EACH Charter relates to the UNCRC General Comment No 15 (2013) on the child’s right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (art. 24), and to the UNCRC General Comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and development.
In particular art. 3 CRC emphasises the primacy of the child's welfare and to implement this welfare principle requires an effective, child-centred service.
Implementing the EACH Charter means at the same time implementing in particular the following articles of the CRC:
CRC definition of age
The CRC defines the age of a child to be from 0-18 years (with certain exceptions). In many European countries children are only accepted into children's hospitals or wards up to 16 years or even less in some places.
Child's right to health and health services
(1) "States Parties recognise the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health..."
Best interests of the child
(1) "In all actions concerning children ... the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration."
(3) "States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision."
Parental guidance and the child's evolving capacities
"States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family... in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognised in the present Convention."
Separation from parents
(1) "States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will."
Respect for the views of the child
(1) "States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child."
Staff caring for children in hospital should be able and willing to listen to them, to treat them with respect, to successfully communicate with them and in matters of dissent be able and willing to reach an amicable agreement.
Child's right to privacy
Applies to alle children and in all situation, including within the family, alternative care, and all institutions, facilities and services.
Child's access to appropriate information
State Parties have to ensure that the child has access to information and material from diverse sources - especially those aimed at promoting well-being and physical and mental health.
Parents' joint responsibilities
(1) ''States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents .... have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. ..."
(2) "For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians .... and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children."
Child's right to protection from all forms of violence
Requires protection of the child from all "forms of physical or mental violence" while in the care of parents or others.
Art. 23.3. and 23.4.
Rights of disabled children
(3) "Recognising the special needs of a disabled child ...to ensure that the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services ... ."
(4) "States Parties shall promote ... the exchange of appropriate information in the field of preventive health care and of medical, psychological and functional treatment of disabled children ... ."
The principles of the EACH Charter apply to children with all kinds of illnesses or disabilities.
Child's right to periodic review of treatment
Requires periodic review of the treatment and circumstances of children who have been placed by the authorities for the purposes of care, protection or treatment of their health.
Child's right to education
The right to education is not limited to instructions delivered within schools. Possibilities to continue education during a hospital stay must, therefore, be provided.
Art. 29.1 (a) and (c)
The aims of education
(1) "States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) "The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;..."
(c) "The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;...."
Children of minorities or of indigenous people
Protects the rights of children to enjoy their own culture, practise their religion and use their language.
Child's right to leisure, recreation and culture
Especially during a stay in hospital, play and creative activities are an important factor in helping the child to cope with its illness.