Court/Judicial body: Family Appeals Court of Montevideo
Date: April 24, 2009 CRC
Provisions: Article 2: Non-discrimination Article 3: Best interests of the child Article 4: Implementation of rights Article 16: Protection of privacy Article 19: Protection from abuse and neglect Article 24: Health and health services
Other international provisions:International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 6, 14, 17International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 12American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, Articles I, XIAmerican Convention of Human Rights, Articles 4, 19, 25Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 3, 25
Domestic provisions: Uruguayan Constitution, Articles 7, 40, 41, 44 Law No. 18.246, Article 11 (right to access health information) Children and Adolescents’ Code, Article 6
Background: A complaint was brought against the Uruguayan Government under a provision of the Children and Adolescents’ Code that authorises lawsuits alleging violations of children’s rights. Specifically, the complaint claimed that the Ministry of Health and other Government agencies had failed to adequately regulate the diagnosis and treatment of childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the country.
Issue and resolution: Health. The Court found that the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD was not being adequately addressed and ordered the Government to adopt stricter regulations.
Court reasoning: The Government’s failure to address the diagnosis and treatment of childhood ADHD is a violation of its duty to protect children’s right to health as provided for under national law and numerous regional and international instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As such, the Government must adopt new regulations that require, among other things, the diagnosis of ADHD by specialists, the creation of a national database monitoring the incidence and treatment of ADHD, and the imposition of clearer guidelines for the prescription of medication to treat the disorder.
Excerpt citing CRC and other relevant human rights instrumentsas translated by CRIN: The rights which are being violated by the administration’s omissions are the rights to health and to life of children and adolescents, which are codified in various international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Art.12) [Law No. 13.751]; the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (Arts. I and XI); the American Convention on Human Rights (Arts. 4, 19 and 25) [Law No. 15.737]; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Arts. 6, 14 and 17) [Law No. 13.751], the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Arts. 3 and 25); and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Articles 2,3,4,16,19 and 24) [Law No. 16.137].
Notes: A news Article covering this case is available at http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=20179&flag=news. CRIN has also published an editorial on the subject of medication and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, available at http://www.crin.org/resources/infodetail.asp?id=28448.
CRIN comments: CRIN believes this decision is consistent with the CRC. As recognised by the Court, States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child have an obligation to ensure children’s right to health by adopting appropriate legislation, regulations and policies.
Citation: Sentencia Tribunal Familia 2do Turno, No. 131/2009 (Uruguay) Link to Full Judgment:www.juecesinfanciamercosur.org/131.doc