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Recommendation 2023 (2013) Final version

Children’s right to physical integrity

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 1 October 2013 (31st Sitting) (see Doc. 13297, report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Ms Rupprecht). Text adopted by the Assembly on 1 October 2013 (31st Sitting).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution 1952 (2013) on children’s right to physical integrity, welcomes the ambitious work undertaken by the Council of Europe in favour of children’s human rights, which has always followed a comprehensive approach including child protection, the promotion of children’s development and child participation as the main pillars of effective child rights strategies.
2. The Assembly welcomes, in particular, the fact that the Council of Europe’s Strategy for the Rights of the Child already focuses on eliminating all forms of violence against children among its strategic objectives, and strongly encourages the Committee of Ministers to allow this work to continue along the same lines beyond 2015.
3. The Assembly points out, however, that a certain category of human rights violations against children is not yet explicitly covered by any international or European policy or legal instrument: the medically unjustified violations of children’s physical integrity as specified in Assembly Resolution 1952 (2013).
4. With the purpose of reinforcing the protection of children’s rights and well-being at the European level, the Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1. take fully into account the issue of children’s right to physical integrity when preparing and adopting its new strategy for the rights of the child as of 2015, in particular as regards the fight against all forms of violence against children and the promotion of child participation in decisions concerning them;
4.2. consider the explicit inclusion of children's right to physical integrity, as well as their right to participate in any decision concerning them, into relevant Council of Europe standards and, to this end, to examine in a comprehensive manner in which Council of Europe instruments such rights should be included.