Call for Support for Global Appeal 2016 to End Stigma and Discrimination against People Affected by Leprosy Junior Chamber International World Congress, Kanazawa

Kanazawa, Japan

I am delighted to be able to participate in this congress, and to have the opportunity to deliver my message to you, active young leaders from all over the world.

As you saw in the video, there are people who are discriminated against, because of the disease called leprosy. Perhaps some of you might not know such people exist. But this discrimination is still a serious issue, even today.

“Stigma and discrimination are worse than the disease.”

These are the words of many who have been affected by the disease and suffered under inhumane discrimination.

We want the world to know about leprosy, to think about what discrimination means, and never to discriminate. With this goal, we promote different initiatives. One of these is the Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination against People Affected by Leprosy. We launch the appeal every January, on or near World Leprosy Day, partnering with influential individuals and international organizations. To date, we have issued 10 Global Appeals.

For Global Appeal 2016, we are pleased to partner with you, the young leaders of Junior Chamber International. Together with JCI, we want to send out a message to the world, especially to the younger generation, about ending discrimination.

JCI has a global network and channels the power of youth to tackle social challenges. Your activities have a sustainable impact on your communities. With the support of such an influential body as JCI, I firmly believe that the Global Appeal 2016 will reach even more people.

I am very encouraged that the Junior Chamber International and The Nippon Foundation will address the issue of leprosy-related discrimination together. I hope that a great many people will become aware of this issue through our efforts.

Thank you and I wish you a successful congress and a pleasant stay in Japan.