Since 2002 the United Nations, through the (now) Human Rights Council, has mandated experts to advance the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Called Special Rapporteurs, these independent experts help promote and protect the right to health throughout the world. They identify general trends related to the right to health, highlight specific challenges and recommend solutions, and undertake country visits to examine the situation concerning the right to health in a specific country. In 2020 the mandate passed from the third Special Rapporteur, Dainius Puras, to the first woman to hold the post, Tlaleng Mofokeng.
Restrictions imposed by COVID-19 meant the traditional handover seminar could not take place. Instead, a series of five webinars was presented, organised by the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. A discussion paper was produced for each webinar, and meeting notes followed. We present the entire series below.
Handover Dialogue 1: Mandate history, progress, and importance as it is handed over to Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
Handover Dialogue 2: Global mental health and human rights: history and the need for change
Handover Dialogue 3: Re-thinking criminalization: drugs, sex work, same-sex relations, and HIV
Handover Dialogue 4: Sexual health and rights: intersections with reproductive justice, gender, and gender-based violence
Handover Dialogue 5: Achieving an emancipatory future: rights-based approaches