Header image for news printout

UN expert to probe health rights dimension in the post-disaster Japan

GENEVA / TOKYO (12 November 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Anand Grover will visit Japan from 15 to 26 November 2012 to assess issues related to the realization of the right to health in the country within the context of Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011.

“I will examine the interlinks between the right to health of the affected people and the actions taken in emergency response, recovery and mitigation following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accidents,” Mr. Grover said, announcing the first mission to Japan 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.

“I express solidarity with the Japanese people, who faced the unprecedented triple-tragedy of the most powerful earthquake that ever to have hit the country, consequent tsunami and the nuclear accident”, the Special Rapporteur stated, noting his intention to “contribute to the nation’s collective reflection and post-recovery debate into the lessons learned from the disaster response and challenges ahead of the nation.”

“As a neutral party to that healthy debate, I will be listening to all stakeholders’ views and present my independent observations on what went well and what could be improved in the realization of the right to health of affected populations,” the independent expert said.

Mr. Grover, who visits Japan at the invitation of the Government, will travel beyond Tokyo to Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures and meet with all stakeholders of the Japanese society, including Government officials, medical practitioners, experts, civil society and community representatives.

The UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions on the visit at a press conference on Monday, 26 November, at 13:00, at Japan National Press Club, 9th floor Nippon Press Center Building, 2-2-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.


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). Anand Grover (India) is co-founder and Director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit and the Senior Counsel in India. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/SRRightHealthIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country page – Japan:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/JPIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact Jamshid Gaziyev (+41 794444078 / srhealth@ohchr.org), or in Japan, Yasuko Senoo (+81 354674451 / yasuko.senoo@unic.org)

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

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR

“Human Rights Indicators”: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/IndicatorsessentialtoolsinrealizationofHR.aspx