Appeal to end discrimination against people affected by leprosy

The Shared Concern Initiative´s new appeal is focused on eliminating discrimination against people affected by leprosy. It was inspired by the recent resolution of the UN General Assembly, which approves principles and guidelines to end this discrimination.

“For much of its long history, leprosy was feared as an incurable, disfiguring disease. People who came down with it were ejected from their communities. … Today leprosy is cured by multidrug therapy (MDT), a course of treatment that kills, after the first dose alone, 99.9 percent of the bacteria that cause leprosy. … Yet, even after a person is free of the disease, the stigma attached to leprosy has the potential to disrupt people’s lives in ways that no drug can cure.”

The SCI calls on the international community to unite behind the UN resolution and to end the discrimination against people affected by leprosy.

“We call on states to use the opportunity afforded by the UN’s historic resolution to work toward a world where people affected by leprosy and their family members can live with dignity and play their part in the life of the community. It is time to bring an end to this gross violation of human rights. Such a world is long overdue.”

The appeal was signed by 10 members of the Shared Concern Initiative: H.R.H. El Hassan bin Talal, André Glucksmann, Vartan Gregorian, Frederik Willem de Klerk, Václav Havel, Michael Novak, Yohei Sasakawa, Karel Schwarzenberg, Desmond Tutu and Grigory Yavlinsky.

The appeal has been released to selected world media and its full text is available here.

The Shared Concern Initiative is a project of the Forum 2000 Foundation. More about this Initiative can be found here.