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12 January 2006

Paul Hunt, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, began a mission to Sweden on 10 January. The Special Rapporteur will be in the country at the invitation of the Government until 18 January 2006.

During this visit, the Special Rapporteur will consider how Sweden endeavours to implement the right to health, the measures taken for its successful realization and the obstacles encountered, both at the national and international levels.

The Special Rapporteur will focus on the right to health in Sweden, including access to health care including for marginalized groups; sexual and reproductive health rights; and underlying determinants of health. He will also focus on Sweden’s international cooperation policies, including its development assistance and membership of international organizations, and how this affects the right to health in developing countries.

“Developed countries such as Sweden have international human rights obligations to realize the right to health at the domestic level” says the Special Rapporteur. “But they also have obligations of cooperation and assistance towards the realization of the right to health in developing countries. I look forward to exploring these issues while on mission.”

The Special Rapporteur will meet with Government officials and with civil society representatives, including non-governmental organizations, members of the media and academics. He will also host a press briefing at 11:00 am on Wednesday, 18 January at the Ministry of Health and Social Care.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report on his mission to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixty-third session.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and copies of available reports, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
( http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/health/right/index.htm)
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For use of the information media; not an official record