Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

HRC 44 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Geneva, 03/07/2020 - 10:29, UNIQUE ID: 200703_5
Statements on behalf of the EU

Madam President,

The European Union would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his report on “the elements that are needed to set a rights-based global agenda for advancing the right to mental health”. This being your last dialogue with the Council in your current capacity, the EU would like to thank you for your very valuable contributions to the promotion and protection of the right to health and, in particular, for the much needed attention you dedicated to the right to mental health.

The EU agrees that it is essential to adopt and implement a human rights-based approach to mental health. As you rightly point out, there is a need to move towards more humane, compassionate and indeed rights-based support for those experiencing serious psychosocial distress.

At the centre of such an approach are the dignity, autonomy, will and preferences of those persons accessing and using mental health services, as well as core values such as social inclusion, participation, equality and non-discrimination.

In your report you mention the impact on mental health of global challenges such as climate change, the use of digital surveillance technologies and social credit systems, and health crises such as the one related to COVID-19 which the world is currently experiencing.

The EU shares your opinion that solidarity, collective activism and shared commitments help to set up adequate responses to these challenges and that states should take all measures to ensure that the civic space needed for these collective voices to be heard is protected.

Mr. Special Rapporteur,

Could you further elaborate on how best to integrate public health evidence, lived experience and rights-based research to guide decision-making on global and national public policy strategies?

Thank you.

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