Eliminate Discrimination

We strengthen organizations of persons affected by leprosy at the heart of solving leprosy-related problems, strengthen networks between them, work to empower persons affected by leprosy, carry out activities to eliminate discrimination, engage in advocacy work with the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination and the UN Special Rapporteur on leprosy, and carry out awareness-raising activities to increase interest in and understanding of leprosy.

Leprosy has ancient origins. For thousands of years, it was a disease with no cure. In the 20th century, treatments were developed and the disease is now curable with drugs that are distributed free of charge.

Unfortunately, perceptions of leprosy that were formed during the centuries when the disease was incurable remain deeply rooted and are reinforced by stigmatizing language. Even today, stigma and discrimination based on leprosy continue to marginalize people and deny them opportunities for education, marriage and employment.

Tackling the disease is not enough. To achieve a world free of leprosy, it is essential to eliminate the stigma and discrimination, which make it difficult for people to seek treatment, and to restore the dignity of those affected through empowerment.