Global Appeal 2017 – To End Stigma and Discrimination Against Persons Affected by Leprosy

Leprosy, a disease once feared for its disfiguring effects, is completely curable today with modern drug therapy. Over 16 million people have been treated worldwide.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment help prevent physical impairment.

Yet mistaken beliefs about the disease persist, perpetuating social and economic discrimination.

In different parts of the world, people affected by leprosy and their family members can find themselves:

  • deprived of opportunities for education, employment, and marriage.
  • marginalized or rejected by society.
  • stigmatized by outdated laws and practices based on discredited assumptions.

We, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, firmly believe that solutions to the challenges facing persons affected by leprosy must be firmly embedded in human rights, as a key component of democracy and development.

We condemn all forms of discrimination on the grounds that a person has or once had leprosy.

We recognize and support the 2010 United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy and Their Family Members, and are committed to contributing to the implementation of its accompanying Principles and Guidelines.

We urge all Parliaments to promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies to end stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy, and to ensure that:

  • Persons affected by leprosy and their family members are treated at all times with dignity and respect;
  • Persons affected by leprosy and their family members are fully represented and involved in political discussions and decisions which affect them, and that they benefit from the full enjoyment of their human rights;
  • We help create a society in which every individual is free and equal in dignity and human rights.

Signatories of Global Appeal 2017

Name Title (Nation)
Mr. Saber H. Chowdhury President,Inter-Parliamentary Union (Bangladesh)
Mr. Yohei Sasakawa Chairman, The Nippon Foundation


Name Title (Nation)
Mr. I. Liddell-Grainger Vice-President of the Executive Committee (United Kingdom)
Mr. E. Ethuro IPU Vice-President (Kenya)
Mr. A. Jasem Ahmed IPU Vice-President (United Arab Emirates)
Mr. K. Kosachev IPU Vice-President (Russian Federation)
Mr. A. Lins IPU Vice-President (Brazil)
Mr. S. Suzuki IPU Vice-President (Japan)
Ms. F. Benbadis Member (Algeria)
Mr. R. del Picchia Member (France)
Ms. G. Eldegard Member (Norway)
Ms. A. Habibou Member (Niger)
Mr. K. Jalali Member (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Ms. M. Mensah-Williams Member (Namibia)
Mr. N. Schrijver Member (Netherlands)
Mr. Nguyen Van Giau Member (Viet Nam)
Ms. Y. Ferrer Gómez Member (Cuba)
Ms. M.I. Oliveira Valente Member (Angola)