14 February 2020 · Alice Cruz

UN Special Rapporteur on Elimination of Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy to visit Japan

The following is a media advisory from UN Special Procedures:

GENEVA (10 February 2020) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, Alice Cruz, will undertake an official visit to Japan from 12 to 19 February 2020.

“I am looking forward to exploring the good examples, challenges and opportunities in the elimination of discrimination against those affected by leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, and their family members,” the expert said. “I also intend to identify progress and gaps in the implementation of the UN Principles and Guidelines and make constructive recommendations.”

“I am eager to learn more about different measures taken by Japan to reduce the stigma related to the disease and to protect and fulfil the rights of persons affected by Hansen’s disease and their family members, including their access to justice and reparation measures,” she added.

“My visit will focus primarily on the issues of remedies for persons affected and their family members; preservation of history and awareness-raising; disability and older persons’ rights; and participation and international cooperation.”

The Special Rapporteur will meet Government representatives, civil society organisations, health, law and social sciences experts, as well as people affected, their family members and their representative organisations. She will also visit several Hansen’s disease communities in Tokyo and other prefectures, in order to learn their work and discuss their priorities.

At the end of her visit, Cruz will hold a press conference to share her preliminary observations at 11:00am on 19 February at the Center for Human Rights Education and Training (2-10-12 Shibadaimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo). Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.


Ms Alice Cruz is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, appointed in November 2017 by the Human Rights Council. Ms. Cruz worked as External Professor at the Law School of University Andina Simón Bolívar – Ecuador and in several Portuguese universities as researcher on health and human rights, in particular leprosy. She participated in the elaboration of WHO Guidelines for Strengthening Participation of Persons Affected by Leprosy in Leprosy Services. She has researched and written on the subject of eliminating leprosy and the stigma attached to it and has interacted with various stakeholders, including persons affected by leprosy.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Follow the Special Rapporteur on leprosy (personal pages) on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/srleprosy and Twitter @srleprosy

For additional information and media requests before and during the visit, please contact (English only): Younkyo Ahn ([email protected] / +41 79 444 3707)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: The Media Unit (+ 41 22 928 9855 / [email protected])


Concerned about the world we live in?

Then STAND UP for someone’s rights today.





ジュネーブ(2020年2月10日) – ハンセン病患者・回復者およびその家族に対する差別の撤廃に関する国連特別報告者を務めるアリス・クルーズ(Alice Cruz)氏は、2020年2月12日から19日にかけ、日本を公式訪問します。







/ /// /




訪日中の詳しい情報や取材要請については、Younkyo Ahn ([email protected] / +41 79 444 3707)までお問い合わせください(英語のみ)。

その他の国連独立専門家に関するメディアのお問い合わせは、The Media Unit(+ 41 22 928 9855 / [email protected])までお願いいたします。