Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health

Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Purpose of the mandate

For millions of people throughout the world, the full enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health remains a distant goal. In many cases, this goal is becoming even harder to reach. This is especially true for those in vulnerable situations including, among others:

  • indigenous peoples
  • migrants and refugees
  • internally displaced people
  • people affected by extreme poverty
  • minority communities
  • people with disabilities
  • people who live in residential institutions
  • people in detention
  • people who use drugs
  • LGBT and gender diverse persons

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health was created to:

  • Gather, request, receive and exchange information on the realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • Foster dialogue on possible cooperation with relevant actors, including Governments, the UN—and in particular WHO and UNAIDS—NGOs and financial institutions;
  • Report on the realization of the right to health throughout the world, including on laws, policies, good practices and obstacles, making recommendations to promote and protect this right and to support States’ enhancement of public health; and
  • Address specific cases of alleged violations of the right to physical and mental health for everyone.

More about why the right to health is an important human rights issue

About the mandate

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health was originally established by the Commission on Human Rights in April 2002 by resolution 2002/31.
The mandate was endorsed and extended by the Human Rights Council with resolutions 6/29 of 14 December 2007, and was most recently renewed by resolution 42/16 of 7 October 2019.

More about the mandate

Current mandate holder

Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health. ©OHCHR

Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng, from South Africa, was appointed as Special Rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council at its forty-fourth session in July 2020. She is a medical doctor with expertise advocating for universal health access, HIV care, youth-friendly services and family planning.

Read Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng’s full biography



Key documents

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment No. 14
PDF/word/html: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español 

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment No. 3
Word: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español 

OHCHR-WHO Fact Sheet no. 31 on the right to health
PDF in English

Latest thematic reports

Commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic: In this 2020 report to the General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur looks at how rights, power imbalances, corruption and overemphasis on the biomedical paradigm have contributed to the spread and impact of COVID-19. View report page | View document A/75/163

Setting a rights-based global agenda for mental health and human rights: The Special Rapporteur elaborates on the elements that are needed to set a rights-based global agenda for advancing the right to mental health. The report includes a number of recommendations for States, for organizations representing the psychiatric profession, and for the World Health Organization. View report page | View document A/HRC/44/48

Latest country reports

Mission to Fiji (28 November to 5 December 2019)
View end-of-mission statement

Mission to Ecuador (17-26 September 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/48/Add.1

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