August 13, 2020
IFHHRO welcomes the appointment of Mrs. Tlaleng Mofokeng (South Africa) as the new Special Rapporteur on the right to health. Ms. Mofokeng is well-known internationally for her work on sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as gender equality.
The Health and Human Rights Journal recently published an interview with her, in which she talks about her career and her vision on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. When asked about her priorities, she said: “I’m trying to move away from having a hierarchy of illnesses, where some are more important than others. And that’s why I want to prioritize the theme of vulnerability and restoration of dignity, because then it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about HIV or TB or malaria. If we are driven by that vision, then I can support you in whatever you are doing.”
With regards to vulnerability, she stresses that: “we are not inherently vulnerable; it’s situations of injustice that make us vulnerable. To correct that, we have to be committed to ending systems of oppression that create those situations. You can only do that through justice—social justice, reproductive justice, economic justice. And the framework to get to justice is human rights.”