18 May 2022 · Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur
UN Special Rapporteur calls for input from persons affected by Hansen’s disease
The Special Rapporteur Alice Cruz is preparing a thematic report on disability rights for persons who have experienced Hansen’s disease and their family members to be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September/October 2022.
Persons who have experienced leprosy / Hansen’s disease should be recognized as persons with disabilities in accordance with articles 1 and 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on the grounds of not only physical impairments and the multiple barriers imposed by society to their full participation, but also on the grounds of discrimination based upon harmful stereotypes on Hansen’s disease itself. Importantly, many organizations of persons affected by Hansen’s disease report multiple barriers to disability rights and benefits.
The next report of the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations General Assembly will focus on the national legal protections available for persons affected by Hansen’s disease. The Special Rapporteur would like to identify legal protections and remaining challenges. More specifically, the Special Rapporteur will focus on the rights provided for in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for persons affected by Hansen’s disease and their family members.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a legally binding human rights instrument, which means that States that have ratified it are obliged to implement it and enforce its provisions. The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.