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Fiji: UN expert to visit to assess right to physical and mental health

GENEVA (25 November 2019) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health will visit the Republic of Fiji from 28 November to 5 December 2019.

During his eight-day visit, Dainius Pūras will be looking at efforts undertaken to realise the right to health, and the obstacles faced. His visit is at the invitation of the Government.

"I look forward to engaging with the authorities, civil society and other stakeholders to assess the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of healthcare," said Pūras. 

"I am particularly interested in looking at issues related to access to primary healthcare; mental health; the right to health of women and children, as well as the impact of climate change on the right to health."

In addition to visiting the capital, Suva, Pūras will travel within Viti Levu and to Nadi, Taveuni and Labasa.

The UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary observations with the media at a press conference on 5 December 2019 at 14:00 local time at Level 5, Kadavu House, UNDP Office, Suva.  Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

He will present a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.


Mr. Dainius Pūras (Lithuania) took up his functions as UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health took up his functions as on 1 August 2014. Mr. Pūras is the Director of Human rights monitoring institute in Vilnius Lithuania, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University and teaches at the faculties of medicine and philosophy of the same university. He is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health and child health.

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 organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page —  Fiji

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:

In Fiji (during the visit): Ms. Lucía de la Sierra (+4179 444 3993 /  ldelasierra@ohchr.org

In Geneva (during the visit): Ms. Marina Narvaez (+ 41 22 917 9615 / mnarvaez@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:

Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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