The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launched the first ever charter setting out the fundamental rights of more than 300 million people living with diabetes.
The landmark document places the rights of people with diabetes and their parents and caregivers into specific focus areas: the rights to care; information, education and social justice; and the responsibilities held by people with diabetes.
According to a press release, the publication of the International Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of People with Diabetes comes at a crucial time. As the global diabetes epidemic continues to escalate, IDF estimates that the number of people with diabetes will rise to 500 million within a generation, killing 4 million people each year and costing the global economy $378 billion in health care spending.
IDF will use the charter as a powerful campaigning tool to counteract the discrimination and stigma that millions of people with diabetes still face, largely due to ignorance and misconceptions surrounding the disease. In many parts of the world, this promotes a culture of secrecy that can create barriers to services, employment and even marriage, and may stop people with diabetes playing an active role in society.
Raising awareness about the rights of people with diabetes is a key element of IDF’s demand for coordinated and concerted international action to tackle the diabetes epidemic before, during and after the UN High Level Summit on non-communicable diseases to be held this September in New York.
“Both children and adults alike are denied both the rights to life and health when their diabetes goes undetected or they lack access to affordable technologies and medicines such as insulin, oral blood glucose lowering agents and other necessary medications,” Sir Michael Hirst, president-elect of IDF, stated in a press release. “This is a ground-breaking document that gives governments and organizations clear guidance on what the fundamental rights to life, health and freedom from discrimination mean to people with diabetes. It is a gold standard to which they should aspire.”
Articles contained within the charter urge governments and public authorities to commit to making health care accessible for all and creating conditions that allow people with diabetes to have as normal a life as possible.
IDF encourages all governments and organizations to sign up to and aspire to the charter principles which underpin the rights to life and health for all people with diabetes.