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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: 'A Quest for Justice'

Resolution inspired by Father Damien canonization is adopted in Rome.

A resolution promoting the equal and inalienable rights of every human being has been drawn up by three organizations working in the field of leprosy on the occasion of the canonization of Father Damien this October.

The IDEA, ILEP and AIFO resolution notes that the canonization of Father Damien for his service to people with leprosy "provides … an unprecedented opportunity to focus the world's attention on the modern-day realities of leprosy … and enables us to promote issues of justice and human rights that were the cornerstone of his work."

The resolution, which was adopted in Rome at the end of May, stresses that leprosy is curable, that use of the term "leper" is not appropriate in modern times, and that people who have experienced leprosy are equal partners.

To read the full text of the resolution, and to sign it, visit the AIFO website:



A new book on leprosy in colonial and post-colonial Malaysia and Singapore looks at the policies and laws applied to people diagnosed with the disease, and the way patients confined to sanatoria contested the regimes imposed on them, often in ingenious ways.

Author Loh Kah Seng, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, conducted extensive interviews with surviving residents of SILRA Home in Singapore and Sungai Buloh National Leprosy Center, Malaysia, for part of his story. Having struggled to make their asylums into homes, many have faced eviction or relocation late in their lives. The book explores their fate, and raises questions about the way they have been treated.

Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia, is published by SIRD in Singapore.


In June, the Chief Minister of Delhi followed through on her promise and raised the monthly pension of people affected by leprosy in Delhi from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1800.