As a reflection of Indonesia’s commitment to work closely with the UN Human Rights mechanisms, Indonesia, through the Permanent Mission of the Republic Indonesia in Geneva, Switzerland, has invited the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (UN SR on health) to visit Indonesia which has been scheduled to take place from 22 March to 3 April 2017.
It is definitely a great chance for Indonesia to have further constructive engagement with the UN SR on health, as well as to fulfil the State obligation to respect and to protect the right to health of its citizen. During the visit, the Special Rapporteur will consider issues related to the enjoyment of the right to health, including availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services, goods and facilities, as well as the underlying determinants of health in the country, including poverty and social exclusion.
The UN SR will be interested in addressing specific themes during his visit, especially within the framework of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Issues of focus for the visit will include universal health care coverage; maternal and children’s health; sexual and reproductive health; mental health; HIV/AIDS; and drug/substance use dependency. He will look into the situation of specific groups and populations, particularly those in situations of vulnerability, such as children, indigenous peoples, refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, and persons with disabilities.
During country missions, the UN SR conducts site visits to inter alia primary healthcare centres, hospitals, mental healthcare units in general healthcare facilities and psychiatric institutions, drug rehabilitation centres, prisons’ healthcare facilities, and primary and secondary schools. In addition, the UN SR spends time outside the capital city to better understand the enjoyment of the right to health throughout the country. While the Special Rapporteur invites and appreciates suggestions of places and locations to visit during his stay in the country, he has agreed to visit Padang and has expressed his interest to the authorities in visiting locations in Eastern Indonesia, in particular, Flores (Labuan Bajo) and West Papua.
In this regard, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesia with its member of the Coalition and its network are very welcomed the visit of the UN SR in Indonesia. Therefore, we are aware, it is important to have further engagement and dialogue during his visit in Indonesia.
Profile of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health
The Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Mr Dainius Pūras (Lithuania), is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health, child health, and public health policies. Mr Pūras is a Professor and the Head of the Centre for Child psychiatry social paediatrics at Vilnius University, and teaches at the Faculty of Medicine, Institute of International relations and political science and Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University, Lithuania. Mr. Pūras assumed his functions as the Special Rapporteur on the right to health on 1 August 2014, for a period of three years.
Pursuant to its resolution 6/29, the Human Rights Council reiterated that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur includes the following:
- Gather, request, receive and exchange information from all relevant sources, including Government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, on the realisation of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as policies designed to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals;
- Develop a regular dialogue and discuss possible areas of cooperation with all relevant actors, including Governments, relevant United Nations bodies, specialised agencies and programmes, in particular, the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, as well as non-governmental organisations and international financial institutions;
- Report on the status, throughout the world, of the realisation of the right to health and on developments relating to this right, including on laws, policies and good practices most beneficial to its enjoyment and obstacles encountered domestically and internationally to its implementation;
- Make recommendations on appropriate measures that promote and protect the realisation of the right to health, with a view to supporting States’ efforts to enhance public health; and
- Submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council and an interim report to the General Assembly on its activities, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
By its resolution 33/9 of October 2016, the Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health for a further period of three years.
Indonesian CSOs Engagement
The engagement of civil society is important thing that should be exist in the protection and promotion of human rights. It guaranteed by the international human rights standards as well as by legitimate laws in Indonesia, such as the Constitution, Human Rights Law (39/1999), and also the human rights instrument that ratified by Indonesian Government.
To support the visit of Special Rapporteur on Health, HRWG and some organizations conducted several meetings and discussion on the drafting the Submission of CSOs to the Special Rapporteur. It important to highlight some issues of health rights in Indonesia and giving direction for the SR to prioritizing crucial situations of health, especially related to the mandates of SR.
The report of Indonesian CSOs can be downloaded here: Final report_Laporan Kunjungan UN SR on Health visit to Indonesia