2022 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health

HRC 50th ses­sion
14 April 2022

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 right expert man­dated to report and advise on this human right. This man­date was cre­ated by the Com­mis­sion on Human Rights in April 2002 and was most recently renewed by the Human Rights Coun­cil in Octo­ber 2019. This report con­sti­tutes an author­i­ta­tive source of expert prece­dent for the mean­ing and sig­nif­i­cance of key lan­guage.

Used as precedent

bodily autonomy and integrity, gender identity and expression, positive legal determinants

To achieve a com­pre­hen­sive health response to vio­lence, it is nec­es­sary to adopt an inclu­sive and non-binary approach to gen­der and gen­der-based vio­lence, and must ensure that all laws, poli­cies, pro­grammes and ser­vices address­ing gen­der-based vio­lence are inclu­sive of all per­sons, with or with­out dis­abil­i­ties, chil­dren and adults, and should include cis­gen­der, trans­gen­der, non-binary, queer and inter­sex peo­ple.


A com­pre­hen­sive health response to vio­lence should look at the nature and extent of the harm caused by types of vio­lence, should take into con­sid­er­a­tion the con­text (that is, con­flict, dis­place­ment), loca­tion (rural, urban) and per­sonal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the sur­vivor (sex, gen­der iden­tity, dis­abil­ity, race, eth­nic­ity, age) and should take into account the inter­sect­ing forms of dis­crim­i­na­tion that exac­er­bate the impact of vio­lence on the sur­vivors’ enjoy­ment of the right to health.

human rights, key population and community leadership

The oper­a­tional­iza­tion of the right-to-health approach requires a focus on national, regional and inter­na­tional legal frame­works, the strength­en­ing of health sys­tems, data and report­ing, clin­i­cal response and pre­ven­tion. It is also impor­tant to focus on the resourc­ing and financ­ing of com­pre­hen­sive solu­tions cen­tred around the restora­tion of dig­nity of all peo­ple, achieved when deci­sions include mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion of com­mu­ni­ties and local fem­i­nist move­ments. Third-party financiers must not place con­di­tions on grantees such as pledges against other human rights.

human rights

The Spe­cial Rap­por­teur recalls that State par­ties’ imme­di­ate oblig­a­tions include guar­an­tees of non-dis­crim­i­na­tion and equal treat­ment and the oblig­a­tion to take delib­er­ate, such tar­geted steps towards the full real­iza­tion of the right to health as the prepa­ra­tion of a national pub­lic health strat­egy and plan of action. Pro­gres­sive real­iza­tion means that States have a spe­cific and con­tin­u­ing oblig­a­tion to move as expe­di­tiously as pos­si­ble towards the full real­iza­tion of the right to health.

bodily autonomy and integrity, intersectionality, negative legal determinants

An inter­sec­tional and rights-based approach to vio­lence that addresses the root causes of such vio­lence, includ­ing the binary con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion of gen­der and het­ero­nor­ma­tive norms, and patri­ar­chal, racist, ableist and cap­i­tal­ist oppres­sion and deter­mi­nants of health in law and prac­tice, is urgently needed.