1. The Committee on Social Affairs,
Health and Sustainable Development supports the report prepared
by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and congratulates
its rapporteur, Mr Andreas Gross, on his well-documented and thorough
work concerning “critically ill” detainees
2. The report addresses barriers in access to adequate health
care for “critically ill” detainees, including unavailability of
trained and independent medical staff in detention centres and prison
settings, failure to transfer detainees to a public hospital when
needed and disproportionate use of restraints on them in a medical context.
However, the fundamental question underlying the rapporteur’s mandate
relates to the appropriateness of keeping a “critically ill” or
dying person in detention at all (i.e. compassionate release). This is reflected
in both the draft resolution and the draft recommendation, which
put emphasis on the principle that nobody should die in detention.
While the standards and processes for compassionate release are
typically legal issues in nature and remain thus outside the Social
Affairs Committee’s remit, access to health care is at the heart
of its mandate.
3. Therefore, the Social Affairs Committee wishes to propose
some amendments in order to strengthen the draft resolution and
the draft recommendation from the perspective of the right to health,
in accordance with relevant international standards.