50th session of the Human Rights Council Geneva, 20 June 2022
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Nordic-Baltic statement read by Ambassador Bahtijors Hasans, PR of Latvia
20 June 2022
Thank you, Mister President.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and my own country – Latvia.
We wish to thank the Special Rapporteur on presenting her latest report on violence and its impact on the right to health, and in particular on highlighting the importance of adopting an intersectional and rights-based approach to violence that addresses its root causes.
The Nordic-Baltic countries strongly believe that all survivors of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, are entitled to comprehensive health services, goods and facilities, including sexual and reproductive health services. The health approach must be survivor-centred and address all their needs, including by ensuring mental health and psychosocial support.
While providing all possible support to the survivors of violence, we must also work to address the underlying norms, structures and root causes and aim to prevent violence before it occurs.
Conflict-related sexual violence is not an inevitability of war but a violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. Nonetheless, we continue to hear of such cases in all recent and ongoing conflicts across the globe. The Nordic-Baltic countries strongly condemn all acts of conflict-related sexual violence, including when used as a method of war. All perpetrators must be held accountable.
Madam Special Rapporteur, how can we best respond to the needs of survivors, particularly women, children, persons with disabilities and LGBTI persons, in conflict situations when access to health services may be greatly limited?