The 35th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Oral Statement
It was in 2004 that The Nippon Foundation first came before the United Nations Human Rights Commission to call attention to the stigma and discrimination suffered by persons affected by leprosy, a disease that has been a scourge of humanity since biblical times.
Since then, The Nippon Foundation in close co-operation with the Japanese Government and other stakeholders has advocated for the human rights of persons affected by leprosy and their family members. In 2010, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members. The resolution and accompanying set of Principles and Guidelines affirm the dignity of those affected by the disease and their entitlement to human rights. It was a significant milestone.
However, it is my understanding that the Advisory Committee’s report which has been submitted to the Human Rights Council at this meeting, expresses the concern that efforts by states to fully implement the Principles and Guidelines are, regrettably, far from enough. I must emphasize that persons affected by leprosy and their family members still suffer violations of their human rights in many parts of the world. States and concerned stakeholders are urged to take action to redress the situation.
Therefore, we strongly support the resolution on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members to be submitted to this 35th session of the Human Rights Council by the Japanese Government.
We are confident that member states will recognize why it is needed, and that this resolution will be adopted at this session.