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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, E/CN.4/2006/48, March 3, 2006

49. As the Special Rapporteur concludes in his report to the General Assembly (2004), health indicators may be used to monitor aspects of the progressive realization of the right to health provided:

(a) They correspond, with some precision, to a right to health norm. There has to be a reasonably exact correspondence – or link – between the indicator and a right to health norm or standard. In the case of the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel, for example, there is a reasonably precise correspondence with several human rights norms, including the rights to health and life of mother and child e.g. article 24, paragraph 2 (a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

(b) They are disaggregated by at least sex, race, ethnicity, rural/urban and socio- economic status. Human rights have a particular preoccupation with disadvantaged individuals and groups. This preoccupation is reflected in numerous provisions of international human rights law, not least those enshrining the principles of non-discrimination and equality. While a health indicator might or might not be disaggregated, from the human rights perspective it is imperative that all relevant indicators are disaggregated. A more difficult issue is: on which grounds should the indicators be disaggregated? From the human rights perspective, the goal is to disaggregate in relation to as many of the internationally prohibited grounds of discrimination as possible.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SR Right to Health-2006