The Global Appeal

Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, has in recent years devoted a large amount of time and effort to promoting the human rights of people who are affected by leprosy. One facet of his effort has been the annual delivery of a Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy. This appeal has sought to raise public awareness through the media, while also drawing the support of world leaders, representatives of persons affected by leprosy, and organizations concerned with human rights in general.


As one of his many activities on behalf of people around the world who have been affected by leprosy, Yohei Sasakawa has since 2006 led Global Appeals to End Stigma and Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy.

The Appeals, which have all been held on or near World Leprosy Day, have each been made together with different groups of people, but have all had the same basic objective: the restoration of the dignity and human rights of people affected by leprosy. Affected people include all whose lives have been disrupted by the terrible stigma that leprosy engenders, including the family and relatives of those who have actually fought the disease. Individuals have been cast out of society, families have been torn apart, and those who have been cured find that social attitudes continue to wall them out, even today. In today’s world, where leprosy is easily curable, the social attitudes that give rise to these human rights violations are insupportable. Through these Global Appeals, Mr. Sasakawa hopes to bring this surprisingly widespread and tenacious problem to the world’s attention.

In 2006, Mr. Sasakawa led a group of world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize laureates in announcing the first Global Appeal from New Delhi, India.

More information about the signatories and the messages of the annual Global Appeal is available from the following links. Since 2022, the Sasakawa Health Foundation has hosted the Global Appeal.
For more information, please visit the Global Appeal website: site)

Year Signatories Location
2021 PDFInternational Trade Union Confederation(PDF / 247KB) External siteOnline
2020 PDFInternational Paralympic Committee(PDF / 1MB) Tokyo, Japan
2019 External siteInternational Chamber of Commerce (ICC)(PDF / 5.34MB) New Delhi, India
2018 PDFDisabled Peoples’ International(PDF / 3MB) New Delhi, India
2017 Inter-Parliamentary Union New Delhi, India
2016 Junior Chamber International Tokyo, Japan
2015 International Council of Nurses Tokyo, Japan
2014 National human rights organizations Jakarta, Indonesia
2013 Members of the International Bar Association London, UK
2012 Members of the World Medical Association Sao Paulo, Brazil
2011 World’s leading universities Beijing, China
2010 World’s business leaders Mumbai, India
2009 World’s religious leaders London, UK
2008 International human rights organizations London, UK
2007 Representatives of people affected by leprosy around the world Manila, Philippines
2006 World leaders and Nobel Peace Prize laureates New Delhi, India