Los derechos humanos y la lepra

PRAGA – Al final del año pasado, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas aprobó por unanimidad una resolución sobre principios y directrices para poner fin a la discriminación contra las personas afectadas por la lepra y sus familiares.

Dicha resolución constituyó la culminación de varios años de presiones a las instituciones de las NN.UU. por parte de grupos y personas dedicadas a centrar la atención en una cuestión de derechos humanos pasada por alto: la discriminación social sufrida por las personas a las que se diagnostica lepra. De hecho, la discriminación suele continuar aun después de que se hayan curado, lo que arruina no sólo su vida, sino también la de sus familiares.

Durante gran parte de su larga historia, la lepra fue temida por ser una enfermedad incurable y que desfiguraba. Las personas que la contraían eran expulsadas de sus comunidades. Con frecuencia acababan en aldeas aisladas o islas remotas, condenadas por la sociedad a pasar el resto de su vida como marginados sociales.

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