June 13: International Albinism Awareness Day
Theme: Still Standing Strong
Albinism Awareness Day 2019 – “Still Standing Strong”
“Still Standing Strong” is the theme for this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day. This is a call to recognize, celebrate and stand in solidarity with persons with albinism around the world, and to support their cause – from their accomplishments and positive practices to the promotion and protection of their human rights. Persons with albinism have faced, and continue to face, ongoing hurdles and challenges that seriously undermine their enjoyment of human rights. From stigma and discrimination, to barriers in health, education, and invisibility in social and political arenas. In addition, in several countries they are subject to heinous attacks and killings. Despite all these challenges, persons with albinism remain positive and are STILL STANDING STRONG!
People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.
In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world.
Resolutions and Mandate
On 18 December 2014, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/69/170 proclaiming, with effect from 2015, 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day.
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 (A/HRC/RES/23/13) calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism. Moreover, in response to the call from civil society organizations advocating to consider persons with albinism as a specific group with particular needs that require special attention, on 26 March 2015, the Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism
In January 2016, Ms. Ikponwosa Ero, United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism submitted her first report on albinism (A/HRC/31/63) to the UN Human Rights Council. Adding to the information contained in the July 2016 report to the General Assembly (A/71/255), a report was presented to the Human Rights Council in 2017 (A/HRC/34/59), which included a focus on witchcraft as a key root cause of attacks against persons with albinism. In July 2018, the Secretary-General transmitted to the General Assembly the report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism (A/HRC/37/57) in accordance with Human Rights Council resolutions A/HRC/RES/28/6 and A/HRC/RES/37/5.