30 July 2020 · Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy

UN Special Rapporteur Alice Cruz’s mandate extended by Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council has extended the mandate of Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.
Alice has advocated for persons affected by leprosy and their families in this role since November 2017. She recently presented her thematic report at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 7 July 2020. Following her presentation, UNHRC adopted a resolution on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members that extends Alice’s mandate for an additional three years. This mandate extension is announced alongside similar mandate extensions for education, persons with disabilities, international solidarity and extreme poverty, and others.

We are thrilled to see Alice continue her collaboration with UN States to enforce the human rights of persons affected by leprosy and their families, raise awareness about leprosy-related stigma and discrimination, and provide a platform to elevate the voices of persons affected.

In the past year, Alice has visited Japan and Brazil. She has previously released reports for the 38th session and 41st session in addition to a new policy framework this year. Alice is co-chair of GPZL’s Emergency Response Working Group 2, which supports the wellbeing of persons affected by leprosy during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also been a strategic voice at the Partnership through her role as an observer of the Leadership Team. 

Alice’s mandate is ambitious. She believes a human rights approach to leprosy is key for tackling both its medical and social dimensions. Much of her success is dependent on engagement from and collaboration with UN States and other relevant stakeholders, especially persons affected and their families. The UNHRC “calls upon all States to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur in the discharge of the mandate and to consider implementing the recommendations made in the reports of the mandate holder.”

We are excited to continue to work alongside Alice and to see her advocacy continue as UN Special Rapporteur.