Leprosy was said to be first recognized in the ancient civilizations of China, India and Egypt. Although It was officially eradicated from China in the year 1982, in the year 2012 China registered 2468 cases of leprosy and thus China today falls under the 18 high prevalent countries of Leprosy in the world. The country now has over 600 leper colonies of disabled and elderly people affected by Leprosy, mostly in remote and isolated places.

China ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 1st August 2008 and submitted its Country Report on 30th August 2010. Leprosy found mention only at one instance in the Report giving statistics on ‘Number of corrective operations for leprous deformities.’ The Report can be read here - http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRPD%2fC%2fCHN%2f1&Lang=en External Website that opens in a new window

The Country Report was discussed by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and ‘Concluding Observations’ were made by the Committee under Article 19 ‘Right to live independently and live in the community’ with regards to Leprosy.

It said “The Committee is concerned about the high number of persons with disabilities living in institutions and about the fact that China maintains institutions with up to 2,000 residents. Such institutions are not in compliance with article 19 of the Convention. The Committee is further concerned about the existence of lepers colonies, where people with leprosy live in isolation.”http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRPD%2fC%2fCHN%2fCO%2f1&Lang=en External Website that opens in a new window

The major organizations working for Leprosy eradication in China are HANDA Rehabilitation and Welfare Association, The Leprosy Mission (TLM), and Bless China International. The Government of China has a dedicated unit called National Centre for Leprosy Control (CDC) aiming to eliminate Leprosy in the country and bring people affected by the disease into the mainstream.

HANDA Rehabilitation & Welfare Association
Liu Zhenxi
Vice President
Michael Chen, Secretary General

Phone:020-3223 6742

Fax: 020-3223 6908

Email: office@handa-idea.org

Website: www.handa-idea.org

The Leprosy Mission International
Address: 80 Windmill Road,
               TW8 0QH

Phone: ++44 (0)20 83266767

Fax: +44-0208326677

Email: friends@tlmint.org

Website: http://www.leprosymission.org