An Informal Consultation on Stopping Discrimination and Promoting Inclusion of Persons Affected by Leprosy was held in New Delhi from 14 to 16 November 2017. Forty delegates with diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise enriched the discussions. Persons affected by leprosy brought to the table the challenges faced in daily life and suggested actions to be taken to reduce stigma and discrimination related to leprosy. Representatives of national programmes presented actions taken in their respective countries. The participants acknowledged the fact that stigma and discrimination related to leprosy still exists at a significant level. Information about stigma and discrimination related to leprosy needs to be collected in a more systematic manner to assess the magnitude of the problem and to further plan activities to reduce it.
Key recommendations from the consultation included counselling and reporting of incidences of discrimination. Efforts should be continued to inform facts about leprosy to the community.
The participants strongly recommended that leprosy programmes should adopt a ‘rights-based approach’ in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.