Ask your MP to end exclusion

Mary Nidienga Chuck (5)
Mary, who lives in a leprosy village is South Sudan. Living with disabilities and shunned by her family, life is a struggle for her.

One in every seven people in the world has a disability. Our hope is that future development work will not leave them behind.

Last week, we blogged about the UN general assembly’s discussions about the importance of including people with disabilities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) did not address disability, and although they have ensured great progress towards reducing poverty has been made, people with disabilities have been left behind. They face additional barriers in everyday life, in access to education, in the workplace, and in the ways they are stigmatised and face discrimination.

Lynne Featherstone MP represented the UK in signing the Manhattan Declaration on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities last week, and she later wrote a blog post explaining the UK government’s commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities. But with two years to go until the deadline for the MDGs, there are still many decisions to be made before the Post-2015 Goals are agreed upon.

That’s why we’re asking you to help put disability and Neglected Tropical Diseases (leprosy is included in this group) on the emerging development agenda by writing to your MP. By asking your MP to approach those involved in Post-2015 decision-making and campaign for them to recognise the importance of helping the world’s most marginalised people, you could help transform lives.

We interviewed almost 5,000 people affected by leprosy in nine countries across Africa and Asia as part of a consultation on the MDGs. While they said they had noticed better access to education and an improved infrastructure in recent years, they were not fully benefiting from the advances made.

They wanted the inequality in society and discrimination against people affected by leprosy addressed. They also wanted to be included in education and training programmes so that they would not be reliant on begging, and wanted the stigma in their communities broken down.

Will you join with us and campaign for change? Download and complete our letter template from the “Lobby your MP” page on our website, adding in your MP’s details and your own, then send it by email or by post. You can find contact details for your MP by searching here.

Each letter could help make a difference, encouraging politicians to approach those involved in developing the Post-2015 Agenda and advocate for inclusion. Add your voice to the call to world leaders  today!

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