Dr Dainius Pūras
The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Dr Dainius Pūras
from Lithuania as Special Rapporteur on the right to health at its
twenty-sixth session in June 2014. Dr Mr Pūras, a medical doctor with
notable expertise on mental health and child health, took up his
functions as Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2014.
Dr 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 at Vilnius University, Lithuania. He
is also Visiting Professor at the Ilia State University, Georgia. As a
medical doctor, he serves as a consultant at the Child Development
Center, at Vilnius University Hospital.
Dainius Pūras is a human rights advocate who has been actively
involved during the last 30 years in the process of transforming public
health policies and services, with special focus on the rights of
children, persons with mental disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.
He was the founder of Lithuanian Society of Families with Children who
have Intellectual Disabilities; the first President of the Lithuanian
Psychiatric Association; the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Vilnius
University; and the Chairman of the board of two non-governmental
organisations in Lithuania, the Global Initiative on Psychiatry and the
Human Rights Monitoring Institute.
As a researcher, Dr Pūras has led and actively participated in
projects at the national and international level in areas such as mental
health policies and services, policies and services for children and
families at risk, rights and needs of children with developmental
disabilities, and prevention of violence. Dr Pūras works closely with
different stakeholders for the translation of scientific evidence into
effective policies and practices through the application of modern human
rights and public health approaches.
Between 2007 and 2011, Dr Pūras served as a member of the UN
Committee on the Rights of the Child. He has been an independent expert
and consultant to numerous governments, NGOs, and UN agencies and
programmes in the field of the right to health. He is author of over 60
scientific publications covering issues such as public health, mental
health, public health policy, disabilities, and prevention of violence.
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health was
originally established by the Commission on Human Rights in April
2002 by resolution 2002/31. Subsequent to the replacement of the
Commission by the Human Rights Council in June 2006, the mandate was
endorsed and extended by the Human Rights Council by its resolution
6/29 of 14 December 2007.
The Special Rapporteur implements the mandate through different
means and activities. As assigned by the different resolutions
related to the mandate:
- The Special Rapporteur presents annual reports to the Human
Rights Council and to the General Assembly on the activities and
studies undertaken in the view of the implementation of the
- He/she monitors the situation of the right to health
throughout the world. He/she identifies general trends related
to the right to health and undertakes country visits which
provide the Special Rapporteur with a first-hand account on the
situation concerning the right to health in a specific country;
- He/She communicates with states and other concerned parties
with regard to alleged cases of violations of the right to
health and other issues related to his/her mandate;
- He/She promotes the full realisation of the right to health
through dialogue with relevant actors by participating in
seminars, conferences, expert meetings.