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Hansen’s Disease and Human Rights


Hansen’s disease has a long history of stigmatization, discrimination, and violation of human rights. Persons affected by Hansen’s disease have been deprived of their civic, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed principles and guidelines for the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by Hansen’s disease and their family members. These serve as roadmap for healthcare workers to ensure that persons affected by Hansen’s disease enjoy the right to and have access to the highest standards of physical and mental health, on an equal basis with others. In this chapter, the authors present key elements of a human rights-based approach to countering and eliminating stigma and discrimination related to Hansen’s disease.

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