As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international human rights treaty that protects the rights of children and young people, Australia has a responsibility to ensure that the rights of children are recognised and upheld. Australia reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child every five years about progress.
In 2010, the 21st anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the CHA Board initiated a project to develop a charter on the rights of children's and young people in healthcare services. To strengthen this work, CHA invited the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare (AWCH) to participate in the development of the Charter. Extensive consultation took place during the development of the Charter.
As part of the project a number of health services elected to participate in a self-evaluation of the extent to which their health service already upheld the rights of children and young people articulated in the charter, and to identify any areas for improvement. A summary of the findings was published by CHA.
A simple self-evaluation tool was adapted from one initially developed by the World Health Organisation's International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services their website in here. Two more advanced self evaluation tools were developed and these were completed by the hospitals and community services who were involved in the intitial roll out of the child rights charter. The initial roll out included self-assessments from managers within health services as well a copy of this document can be found . The project is part of a broader initiative undertaken by the Taskforce on Health Promotion for Children and Adolescents in and by Hospitals and Health Services.
In consultation with all stakeholders in the project, it was decided to develop and publish separate charters for Australian and New Zealand Children that were tailored to the unique cultural needs of children in each country. The Charters were launched in Australia and New Zealand in separate events during 2010.
- Charter on the Rights of Children and Young People in Healthcare Services in Australia
- Charter on the Rights of Tamariki Children and Rangatahi Young People in Healthcare Services in Aotearoa New Zealand
The Project also produced a set of posters with input from CHA and AWCH members and their networks. One poster is aimed at children, and the other at young people.
Health Services and other interested parties are welcome to download, print and display these posters to help raise awareness of children's and young people's rights. Alternatively, copies can be ordered at cost from Children's Healthcare Australasia.
In 2014, NSW Kids and Families developed videos for children and young people to help them understand their rights when receiving healthcare in hospitals and other settings. CHA thanks NSW Kids & Families for making these vidoes publicly available and encourages all Australian health services to share these videos with patients and their families.
- Listen Up: The Rights of every Child in Healthcare
- Be in the Know: The Rights of Young People in Healthare
CHA acknolwedges with thank all of the individuals, health services and consumer organisations who gave generously of their time and expertise in the development of these important Charters.
Health services policy makers, managers and providers are all encouraged to actively implement the Charter in consultation with patients and their families.
For more information:
See the child rights website for more information about this process and child-friendly version developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission. UNICEF have created useful educational resources about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.