Droits humains et lèpre

PRAGUE – En fin d’année dernière, l’Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies a adopté à l’unanimité une résolution approuvant les principes et les directives visant à mettre un terme à la discrimination contre les personnes affectées par la lèpre et les membres de leur famille.

Cette résolution marque le point d’orgue d’années de lobbying auprès des institutions de l’ONU par des groupes et des individus qui se sont dévoués à mettre la lumière sur une question ignorée des droits humains : la discrimination sociale dont souffrent les personnes diagnostiquées avec la lèpre. En effet, la discrimination persiste même après qu’ils aient été soignés, gâchant leur existence ainsi que celle des membres de leur famille.

Pour une grande part de sa longue histoire, la lèpre a été redoutée comme une maladie incurable, défigurante. Les personnes atteintes de ce mal étaient chassées de leur communauté. Elles finissaient généralement dans des villages isolés ou des îles lointaines, condamnées par la société à passer le reste de leur vie en proscrits.

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