Report on stigmatization as dehumanization: wrongful stereotyping and structural violence of women and children affected by leprosy

16 April 2019
Special Rapporteur on leprosy
To the 41st session of the Human Rights Council (June 2019)
Report symbol and links:
Factsheet (English)


The Special Rapporteur dedicates this thematic report to the situation of women and children affected by leprosy and their family members with focus on stigma and discrimination. In her report, prepared in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 35/9, the Special Rapporteur identifies and examines the root causes of their vulnerability to various forms of discrimination and offers recommendations on how to eliminate it.

Key Recommendations

The Special Rapporteur recommends general and specific measures that States, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations can take in order to implement a human rights based approach to the reality of women and children affected by leprosy, such as:

  1. inclusion of women affected by leprosy in national plans for gender equality, gender violence prevention and empowering women through measures that can ensure economic independence and women’s access to justice;
  2. research into the risk factors that may perpetuate violence against children affected by leprosy, alongside the formation of integrated partnerships of experts, parents, teachers and young people that can respond effectively to such violence;
  3. ensuring children with leprosy-related disabilities participation on an equal basis with others in education services, recreational, leisure and sporting activities; and
  4. systematically approaching, consulting and involving in decision-making processes that directly affect their lives persons affected by leprosy and their representative organizations, with the guarantee of all measures for ensuring the participation of women and children and all persons with leprosy-related disabilities.