September 23, 2015
The Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Mr. Dainius Puras, has prepared a report on the right to health in early childhood for the UN General Assembly. The report will be presented in October 2015 at the 70th session of the Assembly. In this report, the Special Rapporteur focused on the right to health in early childhood, with particular attention to the right to survival and development.
The report examines progress in relation to child survival and the right to health; including on reducing under-5 mortality and morbidity; progress in early childhood development and the right to health; and the issue of early childhood development in the context of the right to health framework. The latter topic addresses health care and other health-related services essential for early childhood development; the underlying determinants of the right to health; and concepts from the human rights framework such as equality and non-discrimination, participation, accountability, and State obligations.
Some of the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions are:
“The right to survival as a central element of children’s health is now widely recognized as a human rights and public health concern and concerted efforts by all stakeholders have resulted in a significant reduction of preventable infant and under-5 mortality. Despite this progress, in many countries and among disadvantaged groups of the population, mortality and morbidity rates in early childhood remain unacceptably high. More needs to be done to eliminate deaths from preventable causes in early childhood. Beyond sheer survival, children have a right to thrive, develop in a holistic way to their full potential and enjoy good physical and mental health in a sustainable world. The right of young children to healthy development is crucial to promote and protect the right to health throughout life as well as to foster sustainable human development; however it has not yet received adequate attention.”