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UN expert to focus on the right to health in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR / GENEVA (14 November 2014) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras will visit Malaysia from 19 November to 2 December 2014 to make an independent assessment of the realization of the right to health in the country.

“I look forward to the visit and to learn how Malaysia endeavours to implement the right to health, the measures taken for its successful realization, and the challenges faced”, Mr. Pūras said, announcing the first mission to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the implementation of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

During his mission, the Special Rapporteur will consider issues related to the enjoyment of the right to health, including availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services, goods and facilities.

Mr.Pūras will also assess the basic factors of health, such as access to safe and portable water and adequate sanitation, healthy occupational and environmental conditions, and access to health-related education and information, including on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“I will be particularly interested in some specific issues, such as access to primary healthcare, including mental health, and other health services”, the human rights expert said, “and I will look into groups in situations of vulnerability, such as indigenous communities, migrants and refugees, persons with disabilities, women, and children.”

The UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions on the visit at a press conference on 2 December at 11:30, at the Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur 50450.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health (right to health). Dainius Pūras (Lithuania) is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health, child health, and public health policies. He is a Professor and the Head of the Centre for Child psychiatry social paediatrics at Vilnius University, and teaches at the Faculty of Medicine, Institute of International relations and political science and Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University, Lithuania. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/SRRightHealthIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the 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 organization and serve in their individual capacity.

OHCHR Country page – Malaysia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/MYIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:
In Kuala Lumpur (during the visit):
Ahmad Hafiz (+60320953356 / +60123021234 / ahmad.hafiz@undp.org)
Dolores Infante-Cañibano (+ 41 79 444 4332 / dinfante@ohchr.org)
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Dolores Infante-Cañibano (+ 41 22 917 9768 / dinfante@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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