UN Human Rights Council mandates appointment of Special Rapporteur on leprosy

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United Nations Office (Geneva, Switzerland)

Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of The Nippon Foundation, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination and Japanese Government Goodwill Ambassador for the Human Rights of Persons Affected by Leprosy, has welcomed the decision by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 22 to adopt a resolution mandating the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members for a period of three years.

“I sincerely welcome the adoption of the resolution. In particular, the decision to appoint a Special Rapporteur on eliminating leprosy-related discrimination represents a real breakthrough and I have high hopes for his or her activities,” he said.

Proposed at the initiative of the Japanese government and cosponsored by 43 countries including India and Brazil, the resolution was adopted unanimously by the Human Rights Council at its 35th session.

The Special Rapporteur is tasked to follow up and report on progress made and measures taken by states for the effective implementation of the principles and guidelines for the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, to identify, exchange and promote good practices, and to report annually to the Human Rights Council, starting from its 38th session.

In December 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 65/215 on elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members in which it noted with appreciation the principles and guidelines submitted to it by the Human Right Council and prepared by the Council's advisory committee.

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