Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Leprosy, Ms. Alice Cruz
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As delivered by Jesse Elmore
Human Rights Council – 53rd Session
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Thank you, Special Rapporteur Cruz, for your work over the past six years to highlight and address barriers to inclusion and ongoing, multiple forms of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members. We appreciate your reflection on highlights of your work and the challenges ahead in your latest report.
We also want to recognize Japan for its work to eliminate discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.
It is important to champion the human rights of persons with communicable and chronic diseases and persons with disabilities, like those with leprosy. Like all individuals, those affected by leprosy should enjoy the right to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.
We must address discriminatory laws and practices that disproportionately impact women and children affected by leprosy, who face multilayered discrimination and violence. Everyone deserves a life of dignity.
Madam Special Rapporteur, how can expanded research on leprosy and other communicable and chronic illnesses bring awareness to the barriers and discrimination those affected by these illnesses face?
I thank you.