Goals and Objectives


1.While the goal is to eliminate, if possible eradicate leprosy, the focus will be on the individual, affected by leprosy and help them to regain their lost dignity, recognize their human rights, and bring them back into the mainstream of society.

2.To help demolish the stigma and stigmatizing environment, ILU will use advocacy, develop media involvement and educate the affected persons, their families and communities around them.

3.To work towards empowerment of the people affected by leprosy so that they can participate in making decisions affecting their lives


1.To establish links between the national voluntary organizations working in the field of leprosy, preferably in the developing countries. The fields include prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of leprosy affected persons and strengthening of their organizations.

2.To bring about coordination in the work of various voluntary organizations working in the field.

3.To undertake advocacy of the cause of leprosy and to organize from time to time, forum, meetings, workshops, conferences, etc; for exchange of thoughts, ideas and experiences between workers in the field of leprosy.

4.To collect and disseminate information from various sources on the subject of leprosy and to provide data support.

5.To identify, design, undertake and support research projects, studies, surveys, etc; in the field of leprosy and secure funding for the approved projects.

6.To undertake exchange programs for leprosy workers and to strengthen leadership in leprosy by exposing them to experiences and developments in other states, regions and countries.

7.Undertake training and documentation activities towards human resource development and to strengthen the work in the areas of MDT, Self-Care, Prevention of Disability (POD), Community-based Rehabilitation, health education and any other related fields.

8.To take up the cause of leprosy and establish linkages with other National and International organizations, WHO and UN agencies.

9.To undertake any other activity conducive to the objectives of ILU directly or in partnership with Government or NGO's.

10.Mobilize support for issues relating to elimination of leprosy and build political will and provide socio-economic support to the leprosy affected and cured persons through sponsorship



International Leprosy Union (ILU) is one of the leading NGOs in the field of Leprosy. It was formed in 1986 by voluntary organizations and leprosy workers from over twenty developing and developed countries who recognized the need for linkage and networking among like minded groups and individuals actively pursuing the cause of eliminating leprosy and mainstreaming the leprosy affected in society. It has since worked as a catalytic agency with the unique objective not only to serve as the voice of NGOs active in developing countries but more importantly to give leprosy a human face.

Background of ILU

Prior to 1986 The meeting at Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation (GMLF), Wardha : At a meeting held at GMLF at Wardha and attended by representatives from Korea, Australia, Turkey, Germany and U.S.A. following issues of leprosy were highlighted :-

a.How to deal with stigma

b.How to plan for rehabilitation of leprosy curedb.

c.How to create awareness through Media

d.How to build political will

Discussions at Geneva :

The above issues were further discussed at Geneva by Dr. S.K. Noordeen (Chief of Leprosy Division, WHO, Geneva), Prof. Micheal Lechat, President of ILEP and Dr. S.D. Gokhale where the idea of forming an association of NGOS from developing countries to deal with Leprosy as a Social disease was mooted.


At a Regional Disability Conference of Rehabilitation International (R.I.) in Bombay in 1986 the ILU was formally launched by the Governor, Maharashtra State vide resolution proposed by Mrs. Gruner of Germany and seconded by Prof. Mrs. Turkan Sylan of Turky.

The ILU was registered on 29th September 1987

In 1986 the Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation Awards were instituted wherein the ILU's role as a Co-Partner emerged in deciding the policy and selecting the awardees.
The AHM, Germany mustered the services of over 100 thousand Scouts and Guides, India to participate in the movement of elimination of leprosy under the leadership of Mr. Ranga Rao and supported by ILU.
International Exchange Programme of ILU for leprosy workers was launched in 1987-88 and covered countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Korea and Srilanka. This was supported by Commonwealth Foundation.
Cardinal Foundation of Canada supported ILU to prepare a plan for Prevention of Disability (POD) and rehabilitation for 3 years.
In 1991 at the R.I.'s conference at Hong Kong, ILU played an important role in deciding the direction to be given to the subjects of leprosy with reference to stigma and rehabilitation.
In 1992, at the Global Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, a workshop was organized by ILU and the Rehabilitation International. There a report on Leprosy rehabilitation was submitted.
The ILU was granted official status by WHO and Dr. S. D. Gokhale, Chairman ILU, was appointed as a member of the Technical Advisory Expert Group in Geneva.
In 1993, ILU organised an International Consultation in Nepal. A number of countries joined as 'Partners in the Elimination of Leprosy' and a 10 member drafting committee was formed to prepare an action plan.
1994 Bangkok ESCAP (U.N.) Conference was organized jointly with ILU to discuss Leprosy Elimination and Rehabilitation.
1995-98 - Cardinal Leger Foundation, Canada sanctioned a project to ILU for strengthening of leprosy work.
Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) & ILU organised a training workshop on community based rehabilitation training of leprosy cured persons and leprosy workers in Maharashtra, India to strengthen and expand the knowledge of workers in rehabilitation services.
Dr. S. K. Noordeen took over as the President in 1998 from Mr. M. F. Lechat. 2001 - IDEA and ILU Organized a two day workshop for post elimination issues (leprosy) 2002 - Dr. S. D. Gokhale, chairman ILU was awarded G. D. Birla International Award 2002, for outstanding contribution to humanity.
Shifting of the Registered office of ILU to a new location at CASP Bhavan, S.No.132/2, plot No.3, Pashan Baner Link Road, Pune 411 021 in 2003.