UN human rights expert on leprosy to visit Angola

UN human rights expert on leprosy to visit Angola

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 Angola from 28 April to 10 May 2022.

“This is the first visit by a UN Special Rapporteur to the country since 2016 and the first visit of the leprosy mandate to Africa,” the expert said. “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.

“My visit will focus primarily on the issues of structural and interpersonal discrimination, anti-discriminatory policies; best strategies for stigma reduction and inclusive development about the specific population of persons affected by leprosy and their family members. I also intend to identify progress and gaps in the implementation of the UN Principles and Guidelines and make constructive recommendations.”

The expert will meet government representatives, civil society organisations, health, law, and social sciences experts, as well as persons affected, their family members and their representative organisations. She will also visit several Hansen’s disease communities in Luanda and Benguela regions, 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 on 10 May 2022 (morning – time and venue to be confirmed). Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur’s full observations and recommendations will be presented at the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023.

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