Human Rights Council
6-23 June 2017
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Note by the secretariat
Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 24/6, the secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Council the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. In an attempt to contribute to the discussion around mental health as a global health priority, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the right of everyone to mental health and some of the core challenges and opportunities, urging that the promotion of mental health be addressed for all ages in all settings. He calls for a shift in the paradigm, based on the recurrence of human rights violations in mental health settings, all too often affecting persons with intellectual, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities.
The Special Rapporteur makes a number of recommendations for States and all stakeholders to move towards mental health systems that are based on and compliant with human rights.
Mental health and emotional well-being are priority areas of focus for the Special Rapporteur (see A/HRC/29/33). In each thematic report, he has attempted to bring mental health into focus as a human rights and development priority in the context of early childhood development (see A/70/213), adolescence (see A/HRC/32/32) and the Sustainable Development Goals (see A/71/304).
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur expands on this issue and provides a basic introduction to some of the core challenges and opportunities for advancing the realization of the right to mental health of everyone. In the light of the scope and complexity of the issue and of the evolving human rights framework and evidence base, in his report the Special Rapporteur seeks to make a contribution to the important discussions under way as mental health emerges from the shadows as a global health priority.
The present report is the result of extensive consultations among a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of the disability community, users and former users of mental health services, civil society representatives, mental health practitioners, including representatives of the psychiatric community and the World Health Organization (WHO), academic experts, members of United Nations human rights mechanisms and representatives of Member States.