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UN expert on right to health starts visit to Australia

23 November 2009¨

GENEVA -- Anand Grover, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, began a mission to Australia on 23 November 2009. The Special Rapporteur is in the country at the invitation of the Government until 4 December.

The purpose of the mission is to determine, in the spirit of co-operation and dialogue, how Australia 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 key themes of the mission will be the impact of poverty and discrimination, including inequalities, on the enjoyment of the right to health. The mission will focus on issues regarding the enjoyment of the right to health in Australia, and in particular in the context of access to healthcare of asylum seekers, refugees and persons in detention, as well as those of indigenous populations.

Mr. Grover will meet with Government officials and with civil society representatives, including non-governmental organizations and academics.

He will give a press briefing at 11:30 am on Friday, 4 December at Kurrajong Hotel in Canberra.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report on his mission to the Human Rights Council in June 2010.

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://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/health/right/index.htm