Read the stories

People with diabetes the world over face a common enemy: discrimination. For many men, women and children, a diabetes diagnosis marks the end of normality and the beginning of social exclusion. We must change this.

Millions of people living with the disease have shown enormous strength and resilience in standing-up to discrimination, at the same time tackling the complex physical and emotional challenges posed by this disease. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) published a landmark document in 2011 – the International Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of People with Diabetes – which identified three fundamental rights:

  1. The right to care.
  2. The right to information and education about diabetes.
  3. The right to social justice.

IDF acknowledges the tireless battles faced by people with diabetes in workplaces, in local communities and in carrying out tasks in their daily lives as a result of discriminatory legislation.

The stories come from our Member Associations and Young Leaders in Diabetes. Their powerful testimonies not only reveal the discrimination and stigma faced by people with diabetes, but the crucial role the above fundamental rights play in ensuring people with diabetes can live full and active lives.

By increasing diabetes education and awareness around the world, it is IDF’s vision to prevent and end diabetes discrimination and stigma in all its forms. We invite you to discover these poignant stories with us and share them widely.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has developed the first ever Charter setting out the fundamental rights of the 415 million people currently living with diabetes.

The landmark document places the rights of people with diabetes, their parents and carers into three focus areas; the rights to care; information and education and social justice, whilst at the same time acknowledging the responsibilities held by people with diabetes.

The Charter is a powerful campaigning tool to counteract the discrimination and stigma millions of people with diabetes still face, largely due to ignorance and misconceptions surrounding the disease.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells. 

Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

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