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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: P&G Progress Report

Draft report to UN body underlines need for mechanism to monitor implementation.

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Advisory committee members gather testimony on the sidelines of a leprosy symposium at the Vatican.

A progress report on the implementation of the Principles and Guidelines for the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members was presented at the 17th session of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee in Geneva on August 9.

The Principles and Guidelines were endorsed by a UN General Assembly Resolution in 2010, but five years on a Human Rights Council resolution adopted in June 2015 noted that people affected by leprosy still face multiple forms of discrimination.

Accordingly, the council requested its advisory committee to submit a report at its 35th session in June 2017 containing practical suggestions for the wider dissemination and more effective implementation of the Principles and Guidelines.

The advisory committee’s progress report, prepared by Imeru Tamrat Yigezu, rapporteur of the drafting group on elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, includes the following recommendations.

At the national level:

  • states and government institutions should strengthen, promote and facilitate awareness-raising campaigns and dissemination of the Principles and Guidelines, in collaboration with people affected by leprosy and their family members, and other relevant actors including educators and religious leaders.
  • states should review and identify policies, laws and practices that engender stigma and discrimination and amend or repeal them.
  • states should designate an appropriate body and establish a national committee in order to follow up and monitor effective implementation.
  • states should ensure and support the full and meaningful participation of persons affected by leprosy at all levels of the decision-making process concerning actions that affect their lives.

At the international level:

  • establish a specific and dedicated mechanism within the United Nations human rights machinery to follow up, monitor and report on the progress made by states at the national level toward the effective implementation of the Principles and Guidelines.

The advisory committee has requested the drafting group to submit its draft final report to the advisory committee at its 18th session, with a view to submitting the completed report to the council at its 35th session in 2017.