Global Appeal 2013 to End Stigma and Discrimination Against People Affected by Leprosy

Throughout its long history, leprosy has been one of the world’s most misunderstood and stigmatizing diseases. Over the centuries, countless millions afflicted by leprosy have been shunned by their fellow human beings in the belief that they are cursed with a highly contagious, disabling, untreatable disease.

Thanks to modern chemotherapy, leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, is now completely curable. With early diagnosis and treatment, it is not disabling. Nor is leprosy highly transmissible. There is no need to isolate anyone with the disease, exclude him or her from their place of work or ban them from public office.

But old images of leprosy die hard and continue to shape popular perceptions of the disease—perceptions reinforced by stigmatizing terminology. For those that are the object of such prejudice, the social, economic and psychological consequences can be devastating.

Helping to perpetuate these outdated stereotypes are various laws, customs and regulations that discriminate against people affected by leprosy in different parts of the world.

There are no medical grounds for segregating or otherwise singling out a person affected by leprosy. Therefore, any laws that sanction such practices are without foundation.

We call for the abolition of all laws that discriminate on the basis of leprosy, we condemn all acts of discrimination against people affected by leprosy and we support the right of people affected by leprosy to live in dignity enjoying all their basic human rights.

Signatories of Global Appeal 2013 (as of December 25, 2012)

Austria Austrian Bar
Argentina Colegio de Abogados de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Bahamas Bahamas Bar Association
Bangladesh National Bar Association of Bangladesh
Belgium Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten bij de Balie te Brussel (NOAB)
Brazil The Brazilian Bar Association
CESA – Centro de Estudos das Sociedades de Advogados
Canada Canadian Bar Association
Czech Republic Czech Bar Association
Cyprus Cyprus Bar Association
Denmark The Danish Bar and Law Society
England and Wales Bar Council of England and Wales
The Law Society of England and Wales
Estonia Estonian Bar Association
Europe Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe
Finland Finnish Bar Association
France Paris Bar
Germany German Bar Association- DAV
Ghana Ghana Bar Association
Hong Kong Hong Kong Bar Association
Hungary Hungarian Bar Association
India Society of Indian Law Firms
Indonesia Indonesian Advocates Association (PERADI)
Ireland The Law Society of Ireland
Turkey Istanbul Bar Association
Japan Japan Federation of Bar Associations
Tokyo Bar Association
Korea Korean Bar Association
Malaysia Bar Council Malaysia
Namibia Law Society of Namibia
Netherlands Amsterdam Bar Association
New Zealand New Zealand Bar Association
Nigeria Nigerian Bar Association
Northern Ireland The General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland
Law Society of Northern Ireland
Poland Supreme Bar Council/Warsaw
National Council for Legal Advisers in Poland
Scotland Law Society of Scotland
Singapore The Law Society of Singapore
Slovak Republic Slovak Bar Association
South Africa Law Society of South Africa
Spain Valencia Bar Association
Sweden The Swedish Bar Association
Uganda Uganda Law Society
Ukraine Ukrainian Bar Association
Zambia Law Association of Zambia
Total: 40 countires, 1 region, 46 associations