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Overview of the mandate

The Special Rapporteur has been mandated to pay attention to the situation of “vulnerable and marginalized groups”, and has been further asked to apply a gender perspective and to pay special attention to the needs of children in the realization of the right to health.  For this, the Special Rapporteur will bear in mind relevant provisions, in particular, General Comment No. 14 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).

In addition, the Special Rapporteur will take into account, inter alia, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action; General Comment No. 22 (sexual and reproductive health) of CESCR; General Comments, No. 15 (right to health), No. 13 (freedom from violence), and No. 7 (early childhood) of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC); Joint general recommendation/general comment No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices; and General Recommendation No. 24 (Women and health) of CEDAW.

The Special Rapporteur will also take into account the Technical Guidances on the application of a human rights-based approach to the implementation of policies and programmes to reduce and eliminate preventable mortality and morbidity of children under 5 years of age (2014); and preventable maternal mortality and morbidity (2012).

Resolutions establishing and renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health

The Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council by the General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health was endorsed and extended by the Human Rights Council resolutions 6/29 of 14 December 2007, 15/22 of 6 October 2010, and 24/6 of 8 October 2013.

The scope of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health as established by resolution 6/29 consists of the following elements:

  • To gather, request, receive and exchange information from all relevant sources, including Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, on the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as policies designed to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals;
  • To develop a regular initiate dialogue and discuss possible areas of cooperation with all relevant actors, including Governments, relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies and programmes, in particular the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, as well as non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions;
  • To report on the status, throughout the world, of the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and on developments relating to this right, including on laws, policies and good practices most beneficial to its enjoyment and obstacles encountered domestically and internationally to its implementation;
  • To make recommendations on appropriate measures to promote and protect the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, with a view to supporting States’ efforts to enhance public health; ;
  • To submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council and an interim report to the General Assembly on its activities, findings, conclusions and recommendations.

The Human Rights Council further encourages the Special Rapporteur:

  • To continue to explore how efforts to realize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health can reinforce poverty reduction strategies;
  • To continue the analysis of the human rights dimensions of the issues of neglected diseases and diseases particularly affecting developing countries, and also the national and international dimensions of those issues;
  • To continue to pay particular attention to the identification of good practices for the effective operationalization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • To continue to apply a gender perspective in her/his work and to pay special attention to the needs of children and other vulnerable and marginalized groups in the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • To pay due attention to the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • To continue to pay attention to sexual and reproductive health as an integral element of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • To continue to avoid in her/his work any duplication or overlapping with the work, competence and mandate of other international bodies active in health issues;
  • To submit proposals that could help the realization of the health-related Millennium Development Goals.

Resolutions establishing and renewing the mandate

HRC Session

Symbol

Title

Documents

24

A/HRC/RES/24/6 (2013)

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (renewal of mandate)

E F S A C R

15

A/HRC/RES/15/22 (2010)

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (renewal of mandate)

E F S A C R

6

A/HRC/RES/6/29 (2007)

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (renewal of mandate)

E F S A C R

HRC Commission

Symbol

Title

Documents

61

E/CN.4/RES/2005/24

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (renewal of mandate)

E F S

58

E/CN.4/RES/2002/31

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (establishment of mandate)

E F S

Thematic or health-related resolutions and decisions

HRC Session

Symbol

Title

Documents

32

A/HRC/RES/32/18

Mental health (report by OHCHR)

A/HRC/32/L.26

32

A/HRC/RES/32/16

Capacity-building and public health (panel discussion by OHCHR)

A/HRC/32/L.24/Rev.1

32

A/HRC/RES/32/15

Access to medicines (panel discussion by OHCHR)

A/HRC/32/L.23/Rev.1

26

A/HRC/RES/26/18

Sport and healthy lifestyles as contributing factors (requesting report to SR)

E F S A C R

23

A/HRC/RES/23/14

Access to medicines (general resolution)

E F S A C R

17

A/HRC/RES/17/14

Access to medicines (report by SR)

E F S A C R

12

A/HRC/RES/12/24

Access to medicines (expert consultation by OHCHR)

E F S A C R

2

A/HRD/DEC/2/108

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

E F S A C R

HRC Commission

Symbol

Title

Documents

60

E/CN.4/RES/2004/27

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (general focus)

E F S

59

E/CN.4/RES/2003/28

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (focus on violence)

E F S

58

E/CN.4/RES/2002/32

Access to medication in the context of pandemics such as HIV/AIDS

E F S

57

E/CN.4/RES/2001/71

Human Rights and bioethics

E F S

57

E/CN.4/RES/2001/33

Access to medication in the context of pandemics such as HIV/AIDS

E F S

Resolutions of the General Assembly, including under the Global Health and Foreign Policy Initiative

HRC Session

Symbol

Title

Documents

70

A/RES/70/183

Strengthening the management of international health crises

E F S A C R

69

A/RES/69/132

Protection of health workers

E F S A C R

68

A/RES/68/98

Interlinkages between health and all
determinants, including social, economic and environmental determinants

E F S A C R

67

A/RES/67/81

Social protection and sustainable financing mechanisms for universal health coverage

E F S A C R

66

A/RES/66/115

Health and the environment

E F S A C R

65

A/RES/65/95

Global Health and Foreign Policy

E F S A C R

64

A/RES/64/108

Control of emerging infectious diseases and foreign policy

E F S A C R

63

A/RES/63/33

Global Health and Foreign Policy

E F S A C R

58

A/RES/58/173

The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

E F S A C R