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Mental health and well-being of children and young adults

Recommendation 2263 (2023)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 13 October 2023 (24th sitting) (see Doc. 15829, report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Mr Simon Moutquin). Text adopted by the Assembly on 13 October 2023 (24th sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2521 (2023) “Mental health and well-being of children and young adults”. It is convinced that this topic should be given higher priority in the Council of Europe member States and underlines the importance of empowering children and young adults and including them in decision-making processes that relate to them, in particular about their health and well-being.
2. The Assembly commends the work of the drafting group on developing a guide to good practice concerning the participation of children in the decision-making process on matters regarding their health (BIO/ENF-CP). In this regard, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers instruct the drafting group to co-ordinate closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other United Nations agencies working on this issue to ensure a harmonised and rights-based approach to mental health, especially for children and young adults.
3. The Assembly moreover recommends that the Committee of Ministers remind the Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO) of the firm position of the Assembly, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, relevant United Nations agencies and mechanisms (including the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) and WHO), and of independent experts and persons with lived experience, against the use of coercion in mental health. Mental healthcare must be provided on a voluntary basis and must always respect the autonomy of the person receiving care. Any decisions of the Committee of Ministers should reflect this human rights imperative and be taken in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as interpreted by the CRPD Committee.