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Report No. 256

Chapter VI

Practices in other Jurisdictions in Relation to Persons affected by Leprosy

6.1 Till a little more than a decade ago, several jurisdictions across the world sanctioned the compulsory segregation and isolation of Persons affected by Leprosy through legislation. For instance, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan implemented legislations that were similar to the Lepers Act, 1898 in India, to enforce compulsory segregation of Leprosy patients.90

Japan set up leprosaria under the Leprosy Prevention Law of 1907, to segregate all Leprosy patients and place them separately in such leprosaria.91 In 1907, Philippines also imposed a legal responsibility on the Director of Health to compulsorily segregate such persons.92 The laws of Malaysia, Bahamas, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Singapore and Myanmar also sanctioned the isolation of such persons for quite some time.93

90. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

91. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

92. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

93. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

6.2 In the addition to the practice of segregation, Singapore prohibited Persons affected by Leprosy from travelling by public transport under its Railways Act of 1906, while Thailand required aliens to submit along with their application, a recent medical certificate from a physician attesting to the fact that the alien was not of unsound mind and not suffering from leprosy under its Alien Occupation Law.94 Persons affected by Leprosy were further denied national identity cards in the State of Angola, while the children of such persons were denied from attending public schools in the villages of China for many years.95

94. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

95. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

6.3 However, the stigmatisation and ostracisation of Persons affected by Leprosy through such laws and practices started to diminish after the late 1990s, when the world community took note of the discriminatory spirit of such laws and decided to curtail their implementation in their individual jurisdictions.96 To this end, several countries redrafted their legislations and policies to make them more amenable to the needs of Persons affected by Leprosy and to ensure that the basic rights of all such persons were statutorily guaranteed to them. A few of such legislations and policies that are significant have been laid down below.

96. Shigeki Sakamoto (n 10).

Eliminating Discrimination against Persons affected by Leprosy Back

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