Special Rapporteur (observer), United Nations
Alice Cruz is External Professor at the Law School of University Andina Simón Bolívar – Ecuador. Her doctoral work in sociology focuses on the biosocial dimensions of leprosy and identifies, in countries where leprosy is an endemic neglected disease and in countries where it is an imported and rare disease, the different barriers to access to early diagnosis and to high quality care by persons affected by leprosy, as well as their social, economic, familiar and personal life conditions. She has worked with the Brazilian non-profit organization Movement for the Reintegration of Persons Affected by Hansen disease (MORHAN), where she was involved in the organization of the First International Symposium on Leprosy and Human Rights (Rio de Janeiro, 2012). Ms. Cruz participated in the elaboration of WHO Guidelines for Strengthening Participation of Persons Affected by Leprosy in Leprosy Services. She served as a member of the International Leprosy Association’s Council (2014-2016). Ms. Cruz has conducted fieldwork in Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Bolivia (Plurinational State of) and Ecuador, and has researched and written on the subject of eliminating leprosy and the stigma attached to it. She has interacted with various stakeholders including public health professionals, medical doctors, civil society as well as persons affected by leprosy.