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UN expert on right to physical and mental health visits Ecuador

GENEVA (16 September 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Dainius Pūras, will visit Ecuador from 17 to 26 September 2019.

“This visit will allow me to observe the level of enjoyment of the right to health in the country, as well as the achievements and challenges faced by the public health system,” said Pūras.

The Special Rapporteur will consider issues such as the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services, products and facilities, as well as the social and underlying determinants of physical and mental health in the country.

“I am particularly interested in addressing issues like access to primary health care and mental health services, the right to health of children and adolescents - including sexual and reproductive health - policies and programmes to help people with HIV/AIDS, and the enjoyment of the right to health by the LGBTI community,” he said.

The UN expert will also focus on vulnerable groups, including indigenous communities, Afro-descendants and migrants, among others.

In addition to Quito, Pūras will travel to Guayaquil, Otavalo and Lago Agrio. At the end of the visit, he will hold a press conference to present an end-of-mission statement with some preliminary observations. It will be held on 26 September 2019, at 11:00 local time at the Swissotel in Quito. Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report with his final conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.


Mr. Dainius Pūras (Lithuania) is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health and child health; he took up his functions as UN Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2014. Dainius Pūras is the Director of Human rights monitoring institute in Vilnius Lithuania, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University and teaches at the faculties of medicine and philosophy of the same university.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known asthe Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page — Ecuador

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:
In Ecuador (during the visit): Ms Marina Narvaez (+41 79 444 5172 /
In Geneva (during the visit) Ms Lucía de la Sierra (+ 41 22 917 9741 / ldelasierra@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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