TOKYO, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The Nippon Foundation held a launch
ceremony in London on January 24 for the "Global Appeal 2013" designed
end stigma and discrimination against people affected by leprosy,
calling for the immediate abolition of laws and systems still
discriminating against patients and recovered patients despite the fact
that Hansen's disease has became curable.
The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa, acting as WHO Goodwill
Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, has been making the appeal annually
since 2006 with the endorsement of religious, educational and human
rights organizations around the world, with the eighth appeal in 2013
supported by the International Bar Association (IBA) and 46 affiliated
bar associations in 40 countries and one region.
Nearly 200 people, including members of the bar and a representative of
an Indian organization of recovered patients, were present at the
ceremony held on the afternoon of January 24 in London. Lucy
Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society, told the audience: "It
is truly significant that lawyers are taking a major role in the fight
against the discrimination and injustice in this area." Former IBA
President Akira Kawamura added, "The outdated attitudes and laws
surrounding leprosy cause great suffering to many people. Today the
members of legal professions across the world have an opportunity to
work together to correct the situation." The Nippon Foundation's
Sasakawa said, "Wrong laws and rules have helped encourage
discrimination and stigma deeply planted in the minds of people,"
calling for their immediate repeal.
Over 16 million people affected by Hansen's disease have been cured over
the world after the development of treatment drugs in the 1980s. But
they are still faced today with misunderstanding and prejudice formed
in the long history of the disease and are seriously discriminated
against in marriage, employment and education. In India and some other
countries, laws and institutions, which discriminate against patients
and recovered patients, still remain unchanged.
SOURCE: Nippon Foundation
For further information:
Natsuko Tominaga/ Makoto Wada
Public Relations Department
The Nippon Foundation