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CRC/C/GC/12 page 20

Legislation ensuring the right of the child to be heard, and that her or his views be given due weight in the development and establishment of child-friendly care services;

Establishment of a competent monitoring institution, such as a children’s ombudsperson, commissioner or inspectorate, to monitor compliance with the rules and regulations governing the provision of care, protection or treatment of children in accordance with the obligations under article 3. The monitoring body should be mandated to have unimpeded access to residential facilities (including those for children in conflict with the law), to hear the views and concerns of the child directly, and to monitor the extent to which his or her views are listened to and given due weight by the institution itself;

Establishment of effective mechanisms, for example, a representative council of the children, both girls and boys, in the residential care facility, with the mandate to participate in the development and implementation of the policy and any rules of the institution.

3. In health care

98.

The realization of the provisions of the Convention requires respect for the

child’s right to express his or her views and to participate in promoting the healthy development and well-being of children. This applies to individual health-care decisions, as well as to children’s involvement in the development of health policy and services.

99.

The Committee identifies several distinct but linked issues that need

consideration in respect of the child’s involvement in practices and decisions relating to

her or his own health care.

100.

Children, including young children, should be included in decision-making

processes, in a manner consistent with their evolving capacities. They should be provided with information about proposed treatments and their effects and outcomes,

including in formats appropriate and accessible to children with disabilities.

101.

States parties need to introduce legislation or regulations to ensure that children

have access to confidential medical counselling and advice without parental consent, irrespective of the child’s age, where this is needed for the child’s safety or well-being. Children may need such access, for example, where they are experiencing violence or abuse at home, or in need of reproductive health education or services, or in case of conflicts between parents and the child over access to health services. The right to counselling and advice is distinct from the right to give medical consent and should not

be subject to any age limit.

102.

The Committee welcomes the introduction in some countries of a fixed age at

which the right to consent transfers to the child, and encourages States parties to give consideration to the introduction of such legislation. Thus, children above that age have an entitlement to give consent without the requirement for any individual professional assessment of capacity after consultation with an independent and competent expert. However, the Committee strongly recommends that States parties ensure that, where a

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