Zero Transmission


We are working together to have the laws and practices that discriminate against people affected by leprosy and their families abolished

  • 37%

    37% people affected by leprosy believe the disease affects their right to work

  • 132

    132 laws in place that discriminate against people affected by leprosy

  • 55%

    55% people affected by leprosy believe the disease is frequently used as grounds for divorce

Rachna's story

Rachna Kumari was 24 when she discovered she had leprosy. The crippling stigma that she experienced has enabled her to understand and help those living with the disease in Bihar, India.

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Achieving Zero Discrimination

Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases and people affected by it are subject to stigma and discrimination dating back hundreds of years. Many countries still have laws that segregate and isolate people from their communities and even their families. They can also be a barrier to people getting diagnosed and treated, increasing the suffering of individuals and hampering efforts to eliminate the disease. We believe that all laws and practices that discriminate against people with leprosy should be abolished. Together, we can bring the discrimination down to zero.

Ending legal discrimination

ILEP is conducting research into existing laws so that we can track progress towards our goal of zero countries with leprosy discrimination laws by 2020.

Countries where we have identified discriminatory laws

For more details click on pins

Putting the person before the disease

ILEP members are committed to using language that promotes dignity, respect, and recognises a person as an individual separate from the disease, focusing on their qualities rather than disabilities.

Mathias Duck, Chair of the ILEP Panel of Men and Women Affected by Leprosy, shares his personal perspective on why it is so important not to use language that harms - including the ‘L’ word.

Read Mathias' view

Everything went on well until my wife came to know that I had leprosy. No sooner had she learnt the fact about me, her behaviour suddenly changed; eventually I was compelled to sign the divorce paper. That was probably the worst moment in my life... but I did not lose hope!

Amar Timilsina, member of the ILEP advisory Panel of women and men affected by leprosy