Purpose of the mandate
For millions of people throughout the world, the full enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health remains a distant goal. In many cases, this goal is becoming even harder to reach. This is especially true for those in vulnerable situations including, among others:
- indigenous peoples
- migrants and refugees
- internally displaced people
- people affected by extreme poverty
- minority communities
- people with disabilities
- people who live in residential institutions
- people in detention
- people who use drugs
- LGBT and gender diverse persons
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health was created to:
- Gather, request, receive and exchange information on the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
- Foster dialogue on possible cooperation with relevant actors, including Governments, the UN—and in particular WHO and UNAIDS—NGOs and financial institutions;
- Report on the realization of the right to health throughout the world, including on laws, policies, good practices and obstacles, making recommendations to promote and protect this right and to support States’ enhancement of public health; and
- Address specific cases of alleged violations of the right to physical and mental health for everyone.
More about why
the right to health is an important human rights issue
About the mandate
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health was originally established by the Commission on Human Rights in April 2002 by
The mandate was endorsed and extended by the Human Rights Council with
resolutions 6/29 of 14 December 2007, and was most recently renewed by
resolution 42/16 of 7 October 2019.
More about the mandate
Current mandate holder
Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng, from South Africa, was appointed as Special Rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council at its forty-fourth session in July 2020. She is a medical doctor with expertise advocating for universal health access, HIV care, youth-friendly services and family planning.
Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng’s full biography
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
General Comment No. 14
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment No. 3
OHCHR-WHO Fact Sheet no. 31 on the right to health
Latest thematic reports
Sexual and reproductive health rights during COVID-19: In the 2021 report to the General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur, focuses on sexual and reproductive health rights and the challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic
View document A/76/172
Strategic priorities of work: In her 2021 report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur, identifies the priority themes for her work in the coming years.
Commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic: In this 2020 report to the General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur looks at how rights, power imbalances, corruption and overemphasis on the biomedical paradigm have contributed to the spread and impact of COVID-19.
View report page | View document
Setting a rights-based global agenda for mental health and human rights: The Special Rapporteur elaborates on the elements that are needed to set a rights-based global agenda for advancing the right to mental health. The report includes a number of recommendations for States, for organizations representing the psychiatric profession, and for the World Health Organization.
View report page | View document
Latest country reports
Mission to Fiji (28 November to 5 December 2019)
Mission to Ecuador (17-26 September 2019)