The European Association for Children in Hospital (EACH) Charter, adopted in 1988 in Leiden, Netherlands, is a list of the rights of all children before, during, and after a hospital stay. The rights mentioned in the charter apply to all sick children regardless of their illness, age, or disability, their origin or social or cultural background, or any possible reason for treatment, whether as inpatients or outpatients.
All rights mentioned in the charter and all measures derived from it must, in the first place, be in the best interests of children and enhance their well-being.
The rights/needs of children in hospital include accommodation for parents, support for parents and children, informed participation in the decision-making process, and care in pediatric units by staff who are adequately trained.
The EACH Charter is in line with corresponding and binding rights stipulated at the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and refers to children as being aged 0 to 18 years.
Some of the goals of the EACH Charter are still unachieved, such as:
the right of children to have their parents with them in the hospital;
painless medical treatment;
to receive information they can understand;
the possibility for children to have their own say in the care plan;
opportunities for play and education in the ward;
to have contact with peers; and
a healing environment.