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A man speaks to a group of people from his community

By 2015, the target of eliminating leprosy as a public health problem had been achieved in almost all countries. Once this target was achieved, governments reduced their resource allocation for leprosy control programmes. However, this is an outdated definition of elimination, meaning fewer than 1 case in 10,000 population.

Leprosy persists today and is now chronically underfunded and neglected by governments all over the world.

More than 200,000 new cases reported every year and an unknown number of unreported cases. In order to reach zero leprosy, the government in each country needs to own their own zero leprosy roadmap.

We know that we will not defeat leprosy by working on our own. Partnerships are vital to our aim of a world without leprosy and a world without leprosy-related discrimination. This is why we work with international, national, and local governments, as well as with Organisations of Persons Affected by Leprosy.

Discover our advocacy messages for the disability sector >
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    Mathias Duck

    Mathias is TLM's Global Advocacy Lead and is a person affected by leprosy.

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    We believe in the power of self-advocates >

    We have trained thousands of people to advocate on their own behalf because their voices are more powerful than ours can ever be.


    TLM's Advocacy Working Group

    In 2024, The Leprosy Mission's Board commissioned a new Member-Appointed Working Group on advocacy. This includes experts from within and outside of The Leprosy Mission.

    Our advocacy work is informed by our key messages

    These key messages are focused on how advocacy and partnership can lead us to a world with zero leprosy transmission and towards zero leprosy disability and zero leprosy discrimination.

    Read our messages document
    The Leprosy Mission's Key Advocacy Messages

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    Our work with the United Nations

    We work with the CRPD, Special Rapporteurs, and the Human Rights Council.

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    Our work on the UN CRPD

    Mainstreaming leprosy rights within the wider disability rights movements is a key part of our advocacy work.

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    Our Human Rights Work

    Human Rights are repeatedly stolen from persons affected by leprosy. We tackle that wherever we can.

  • Advocacy articles listed

    UN General Assembly Hall in New York
    The Leprosy Mission at the CRPD Conference 2024

    The Leprosy Mission will be attending COSP17 to represent the voices of persons affected by leprosy and persons affected by NTDs within this crucial disability rights context

    A young Indian man in a white shirt stands between two yellow lorries smiling
    The Leprosy Mission's CRPD Conference Side Event 2024

    At COSP17 The Leprosy Mission is hosting a side event on the right to work and employment for persons with disability in low and middle income countries

    Statement on the next Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members

    The Leprosy Mission calls on the United Nations to select someone with personal experience of leprosy as the next Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.

    Mathias in the General Assembly hall of the United Nations in New York
    Mathias Duck's Statement at COSP16 (CRPD Conference 2023)

    The Leprosy Mission's Global Advocacy Lead's statement, written for the CRPD Conference in 2023

    Ana Ivonia behind the panel desk at the UN HQ
    Ana Ivonia's Statement to the CRPD Conference 2023

    Ana Ivonia gave a statement at the conference's third roundtable on reaching underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities.

    A child is examined in one of The Leprosy Mission's Hospitals
    Leprosy and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Leprosy is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD), which places it under SDG 3.3. NTDs affect 1.7bn people across the world.

    Members of OPALCO - DR Congo's Leprosy Peoples' Organisation - laughing together in a meeting
    Leprosy and the disability movement

    Persons affected by leprosy and their representative organisations are looking for a space within the disability sector through which they can have their voices heard and their rights accessed.

    Ana smiling to camera
    Leprosy and the 3rd COSP16 Roundtable: Reaching the under-represented groups of persons with disabilities

    The Co-Chair of the 3rd Roundtable at the 2023 CRPD Conference was Ana Ivonia from The Leprosy Mission Timor-Leste

    Leprosy at COSP16

    The Leprosy Mission will be at the United Nations' CRPD Conference in 2023, representing millions of persons affected by leprosy across the world.

    TLM's Side Event at the UN's CRPD Conference 2022 (COSP15)

    On Friday 17 June 2022, TLM hosted a side event at the UN's CRPD Conference, alongside our partners, Disabled Peoples' International

    Rachna poses outside the UK Parliament building
    Rachna Kumari's Speech at the UK Parliament

    A speech delivered at the UK parliament in June 2022 by Rachna Kumari, a person affected by leprosy