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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 However, this is an outdated definition of elimination, meaning fewer than 1 case in 10,000 population.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

    Global Disability Summit Logo
    TLM at the Global Disability Summit 2022

    The Leprosy Mission is hosting two side events at the Global Disability Summit 2022.

    TLM Switzerland CEO, Markus, meets with a representative from Bangladesh's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva
    Taking a petition to the UN Human Rights Council - 2021

    In October 2021, TLM presented a petition to permanent missions to the UN in Geneva. The petition called for an end to all laws that discriminate against persons affected by leprosy.

    A victory for leprosy voices at the UN's Disability Conference - June 2021

    At the UN's major disability rights conference in June 2021, we heard from several persons affected by leprosy who spoke powerfully about their experiences.

    A collage of four women affected by leprosy
    Advocacy News: The voices of women affected by leprosy have been heard in new and exciting ways

    In December 2020, the UN hosted its major disability rights conference (COSP13). At this conference, The Leprosy Mission and Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) hosted a side event that considered the challenges women affected by leprosy face in accessing their rights.

    How working with the UN has changed the lives of people affected by leprosy

    When we represented the leprosy community before the UN for the first time in November 2017, little did we know the incredible impact it would go on to have in the lives of people affected by leprosy.

    One man smiles at another man while he applies a dressing to his injured foot
    Advocacy Opinion: The UN must be at the centre of development work that includes everyone

    Globally there are more than a billion people with disabilities and even then, there are those ‘missing millions’ who are not counted as they are not aware of their status as persons with disabilities.

    A man from Papua New Guinea wearing a blue shirt and sunglasses smiles at the camera
    Advocacy opinion: The case for governments to address the mental health of people affected by leprosy

    Sadly, the mental health of persons affected by leprosy and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) is yet to become a priority for governments in NTD endemic countries. This is something we ought to change right away.

    The palm of a hand has written on it '#130 to go'
    Challenging discriminatory laws

    We are running a global petition to demand an end to all discriminatory laws

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    The change we are seeking through advocacy

    We are seeking specific changes from governments across the world

    Advocacy & Communication in India

    Our advocacy and communication team in India is leading the way in leprosy advocacy work worldwide.

    Brent Morgan and Amar Timalsina represent TLM at the UN in New York
    Statement of Mr. Brent Morgan, made before the CRPD Conference on 13 June 2018

    Brent Morgan, TLM International Director, spoke at the UN's 11th CRPD Conference in 2018. This is the statement he delivered.

    Statement of U Soe Win at the UN's 13th Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    U Soe Win spoke at a roundtable even at the UN's CRPD Conference in 2020. This is what he said.