On 22 November, Ms Maria-Andriani Kostopoulou, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child (CAHENF) took part in an exchange of views at the invitation of the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), in the context of the preparation by DH-BIO of a strategic action plan.
On this occasion Ms Kostopoulo updated the experts of the Committee on the priorities under the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child, on the CAHENF’s work to date which is of relevance to the mandate and expertise area of the DH-BIO, such as the elaboration of guidelines on age assessment for children in the context of migration and on addressing children’s rights and mental health issues.
In the discussions and exchange that ensued, DH-BIO experts raised numerous questions on a wide range of topics, among which child-friendly healthcare, participation of children in decision-making processes and policies in relation to health or in medical research, protection of children’s data in the biomedical sphere, as well as equity and access to health, sexuality education and access by children to family planning, the best interests of the child in the context of new family forms (surrogacy, donor assisted human reproduction).
The DH-BIO experts expressed their appreciation and interest in pursuing this dialogue, and stated their readiness to explore working methods and ways to strengthen the joint co-operation between the DH-BiO and the CAHENF on topics of common interest. The Chair invited DH-BIO to contribute actively to the mid-term review of the implementation of the Strategy for the Rights of the Child in 2019, in order to identify persisting and emerging challenges with respect to children and the biomedical field, and priority actions which would need attention in the coming years.