Global Appeal 2008

“To many of us, worse than the very disease is the prejudice that comes along with it.”*

Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases.
For much of history, it was incurable.
Countless millions suffered its disfiguring effects.
Today, leprosy is easily treated with multidrug therapy.
Since the 1980s, over 16 million people have been cured worldwide.
Diagnosed early and treated promptly, leprosy leaves no trace.
Far harder to remove is the age-old stigma.
Based on ignorance and fear, society continues to discriminate
against people affected by leprosy, even after they are cured.
This has devastating consequences for them and their families.
It limits their opportunities for education, employment and marriage,
and it restricts their participation in community life.
Defining a person by his or her disease is unacceptable.
We appeal to society to understand the facts about leprosy.
We call for actions to end the stigma and discrimination.
We join people affected by leprosy in affirming the right of
every human being to live with dignity.

January 28, 2008

*Francisco A.V. Nunes, Brazil, founding member of MORHAN
(Movement to Reintegrate People Affected by Leprosy)

Signatories for Global Appeal 2008

Irene Khan Secretary General , Amnesty International
Julio Wilfredo Guzman Jara Chairperson , Disabled Peoples’ International
Richard Blewitt Chief Executive , HelpAge International
Nicholas Howen Secretary General , International Commission of Jurists
Eugen Brand Director General , International Movement ATD Fourth World
Barry Clarke Chair , International Save the Children Alliance
Bryan Dutton Director General , Leonard Cheshire Disability
Elly Pradervand Executive Director , Women’s World Summit Foundation
Yohei Sasakawa Chairman , The Nippon Foundation