The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Special Rapporteur is requested to gather information on the right to health, discuss possible cooperation with relevant actors, report on the status of the right to health throughout the world, and make recommendations on measures to promote and protect the right to health.
In order to fulfill this mandate, the Special Rapporteur submits an annual report both to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly, undertakes official country missions, and receives individual complaints of alleged violations of the right to health.
The first Special Rapporteur, Paul Hunt, was appointed in 2002. The current Special Rapporteur, Dainius Pūras (Lithuania), was appointed in 2014. He is a Professor at Vilnius University, Lithuania, and has extensive expertise on the right to health, with a specific interest in child rights and mental health.
Guide for Civil Society
The UN Special Rapporteur has proven to be a valuable catalyst for further action within the health and human rights movement. Nevertheless, there remains much unawareness and misconception concerning the work of this independent expert. To bridge this knowledge gap we developed a Guide for Civil Society for those who wish to know more about the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health.