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Article 1

Children shall be admitted to hospital only if the care they require cannot be equally well provided at home or on a day basis.

Article 2

Children in hospital shall have the right to have their parents or parent substitute with them at all times.

Article 3

  1. Accommodation should be offered to all parents and they should be helped and encouraged to stay.
  2. Parents should not need to incur additional costs or suffer loss of income. 
  3. In order to share in the care of their child, parents should be kept informed about ward routine and their active participation encouraged.

Article 4

  1. Children and parents shall have the right to be informed in a manner appropriate to age and understanding.
  2. Steps should be taken to mitigate physical and emotional stress.

Article 5

  1. Children and parents have the right to informed participation in all decisions involving their health care.
  2. Every child shall be protected from unnecessary medical treatment and investigation.

Article 6

  1. Children shall be cared for together with children who have the same developmental needs and shall not be admitted to adult wards.
  2. There should be no age restrictions for visitors to children in hospital.

Article 7

Children shall have full opportunity for play, recreation and education suited to their age and condition and shall be in an environment designed, furnished, staffed and equipped to meet their needs.

Article 8

Children shall be cared for by staff whose training and skills enable them to respond to the physical, emotional and developmental needs of children and families.

Article 9

Continuity of care should be ensured by the team caring for children.

Article 10

Children shall be treated with tact and understanding and their privacy shall be respected at all times.

The EACH Charter

The EACH Charter sets out standards for children's health care at times of illness.
The Charter was adopted by twelve non-governmental voluntary organisations at their first European conference held in Leiden, Netherlands in 1988.
Most of the organisations that were present, have been set up to give advise, information and support to families with sick children. Together they formulated ten points, setting out the rights of children before, during and after their stay in hospital.

Annotations

In 2001, at the 7th EACH Conference in Brussels, Belgium, all member organisations agreed to a number of annotations to support the implementation of the EACH CHARTER.
The EACH Co-ordinating committee agreed on an update of the annotations at its Committee meeting in Stockholm (Oktober 2015).

Context

The context of the EACH CHARTER and its annotations is as follows:

  • All rights mentioned in the Charter, and all measures taken or derived from the Charter, must in the first place be in the best interest of children, and enhance their well-being.
  • The rights mentioned in the Charter apply to all sick children, in-patients and out-patients alike, regardless of their illness, age, disability, origin, social or cultural background, reason for treatment, type and place of treatment.
  • The EACH Charter is in line with similar, binding rights stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and refers to children aged between 0 and 18 years.
  • 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.
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