Demand the United Nations End Discriminatory Leprosy Laws: 130 To Go!


It is shocking that laws around the world continue to discriminate and perpetuate prejudice against people with a curable illness. Even in countries with excellent human rights practices, people affected by leprosy face legal and systematic discrimination.


Many people are unaware that leprosy still exists. This disease mostly impacts the world's poorest people – those who are often marginalized already.

For millennia, people have been terrified of leprosy, imagining that the source of the illness is sin, and those with it are unclean.

The reality is that leprosy is a mildly infectious disease that has been curable since the 1980s. Yet 130 laws in 29 countries allow a person to face discrimination because of a leprosy diagnosis. Laws that create shame and fear and lead people to delay seeking help for symptoms of leprosy. Untreated leprosy causes disability and permanent damage to nerves and limbs.


There are many examples of unjust and outdated laws against people with leprosy, including:

- Termination from employment
- Separation from children & divorce without agreement
- Segregation from home and community
- Detention in an asylum


Discriminatory laws against people affected by leprosy are a fundamental human rights issue. When you add your name to this petition, you are calling for justice for people affected by leprosy. You are standing up for those who unjustly face discrimination. You are helping to create a world in which people with leprosy can overcome their disease - a world full of hope.

The petition will be presented to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in September 2021. This will coincide with a presentation to the UN's General Assembly on the topic of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy by the UN's Special Rapporteur on leprosy, Ms Alice Cruz.'

Sign today to add your voice to the thousands around the world calling for an end to outdated and discriminatory leprosy laws.

'There are 130 legislations and 29 countries that discriminate against people on the grounds of leprosy. We call on the UN to use their human rights mechanisms to ensure that all Member States live up to the commitments they have made to international human rights conventions.'
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