[Media Advisory] Right to health: UN expert to visit Canada

Posted on November, 5 2018 by Action Canada

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is pleased to be facilitating engagement with civil society organizations from across the country with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health during his visit to Canada.

We will be highlighting issues related to comprehensive sexuality education as part of the right to health, discrepancies in access to safe abortion care, forced sterilizations, and cost coverage for sexual and reproductive health drugs and commodities.

Read the Media Advisory below:

Right to health: UN expert to visit Canada

OTTAWA/GENEVA (1 November 2018) – 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 Canada from 5 to 16 November 2018.

Dainius Pūras has been invited by the Government to look at moves to achieve the right to physical and mental health, including progress made and challenges remaining.

“I look forward to engaging with the Canadian authorities, civil society and other stakeholders to assess the enjoyment of the right to health, including availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of healthcare,” he said.

Pūras, an independent expert, will also examine factors that affect the right to health, including poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.  “I am particularly interested in issues related to access to primary healthcare; mental health; sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as the right to health of children, adolescents and indigenous peoples,” he said.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a news conference at the end of his visit

  *   When: November 16th, 13:00pm, 2018

  *   Where: Charles Lynch press room, 130-S, Centre Block

Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Pūras will only engage with the media at the end of his visit, after he has gathered all information for a global preliminary assessment. He will present a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2019.


The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health (right to health). Dainius Pūras (Lithuania) is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health and child health; he took up his functions as UN Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2014. Dainius 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. 

Learn more.

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 organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:

Lucía de la Sierra (+ 41 79 444 3940/ [email protected])

In Geneva (during the visit): Marina Narvaez Guarnieri (+41 22 917 9615 / [email protected])

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts, please contact: Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / [email protected])      

Tag and share – Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

Check the Universal Human Rights Index

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.

Follow Action Canada