A/HRC/53/65: Digital innovation, technologies and the right to health
21 April 2023
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Tlaleng Mofokeng, analyses the impact of digital innovation and technologies on the right to health, including on the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of facilities, goods and services. She also focuses on digital innovation and technologies and the right to sexual and reproductive health, as well as on the impact of digital technologies on privacy and the use of data.
The Special Rapporteur shares the concerns that digital technologies can perpetuate racism, sexism, ableism or discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, among others. She reaffirms the principles of, inter alia, non-discrimination, equality, participation, accountability, reparations and privacy. She recalls the need to promote digital inclusion, access to affordable and reliable connectivity, and the underlying need to address digital literacy and the gender digital divide.
The Special Rapporteur also seeks to clarify the legal obligations that arise under the right to health framework, from an anti-discrimination perspective, recalling that the same rights that are protected offline must be protected with the use of digital tools and in online spaces. She also reminds States and private actors, including businesses and technology companies among others, the obligations that they have in this context of rapid growth of technological innovation as it relates to the right to health. She also focuses on good practices, including recommendations on digital health governance and participation.
Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health