Please, read the general remarks about the special procedures first.
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur, created in 2002, focuses “on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as reflected in Article 25, paragraph 1, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 12 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as well as on the right to non-discrimination as reflected in Article 5 (e) (iv) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” (Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2002/31).
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights:
The complaint must at least contain the following information:
Information and complaints can be submitted (specifying the pertinent special procedure) to:
Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 9003
Once the Special Rapporteur received credible information concerning restrictions on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, he can address a communication, generally in form of a letter submitted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the government concerned asking it to give information concerning the allegation and to take preventive measures or to initiate an investigation. The communications can deal with cases of individuals, groups or communities, the general trends and development of human rights violations in certain countries as well as draft law or law in force subjected to apprehension. The communications are generally made in form of “urgent appeals” or “letters of allegation”. When there are multiple mandates for one case, the Special Rapporteur can submit joint communications.
“Urgent appeals” are used to provide information concerning current or imminent violations. They are submitted to inform the competent authorities as quickly as possible so that these can intervene to stop the human rights violation or to prevent it.
“Letters of allegation” are used to provide information concerning violations which have already taken place and which have had irreversible consequences for the supposed victim. This type of communication is used, for example, when the Special Rapporteur receives information on violations which have already been committed.
With both types of communication, the Special Rapporteur asks the concerned government to take all appropriate measures to investigate and remedy the alleged violations and to submit the results of its intervention. According to the response, the Special Rapporteur can decide to pursue the investigation or to give recommendations.