2006 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health

61st UNGA
13 Sept 2006

Analysis of precedential value

The spe­cial rap­por­teur on the right of every­one to the enjoy­ment of the high­est attain­able stan­dard of phys­i­cal and men­tal health is a human rights expert man­dated to report and advise on this human right. This man­date was cre­ated by the Com­mis­sion on Human Rights in April 2002 and has been peri­od­i­cally renewed since. This report con­sti­tutes an author­i­ta­tive source of expert prece­dent for the mean­ing and sig­nif­i­cance of key lan­guage. The incum­bent at the time of this report’s release was Paul Hunt (Britain/New Zealand).

Used as precedent

reproductive rights

The right to the high­est attain­able stan­dard of health enti­tles women to ser­vices in con­nec­tion with preg­nancy and the post-natal period, and to other ser­vices and infor­ma­tion on sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health. These enti­tle­ments encom­pass the key tech­ni­cal inter­ven­tions for the pre­ven­tion of mater­nal mor­tal­ity, includ­ing access to a skilled birth atten­dant, emer­gency obstet­ric care, edu­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion on sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health, safe abor­tion ser­vices where not against the law, and other sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health-care ser­vices.

gender equality

It is also vital to address social, cul­tural, polit­i­cal and legal fac­tors which influ­ence women’s deci­sions to seek mater­nal or other repro­duc­tive health-care ser­vices. This may require address­ing dis­crim­i­na­tory laws, poli­cies, prac­tices and gen­der inequal­i­ties that pre­vent women and ado­les­cents from seek­ing good qual­ity ser­vices.