International Albinism Awareness Day: Expert urges reflection on rights of persons with albinism

Geneva, Switzerland (PANA) – As the world celebrates International Albinism Awareness Day on Wednesday, an Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism on Monday called on all nations to reflect on those who have been attacked and lost their lives or were mutilated because they have albinism.

Ikponwosa Ero, took stock of progress under the theme of the Day, “shining our light to the world”, noting that the commitment to putting these atrocities to an end is heartening. “Indeed the battle continues, but we are gaining ground,” she said.

The Human Rights Council in June 2015 designated Ms. Ero (Nigerian) as the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
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“Today, we celebrate the remarkable contributions of persons with albinism including Goldalyn Kakuya, a 14-year-old girl with albinism, who topped Kenya’s national primary school exams in December and shattered stereotypes and myths. Indeed, it is still often believed that persons with albinism are unable to learn.

“This prejudice illustrates the particular discrimination they face regarding access to education, including persistent bullying and the absence of reasonable accommodation for the vision impairment that is often part of albinism,” Ms. Ero remarked.

Similarly, she pointed out, six women with albinism including victims of attacks and mutilation are currently preparing to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, shattering myths about albinism from one of the highest points in the world.

“This campaign is a richly symbolic demonstration of the capabilities of women with albinism,” said Ms Ero.

“In light of the fundamental pledge made in 2015 by all member states of the United Nations to leave no one behind, starting with the furthest behind first, it is essential for all stakeholders to support persons with albinism in their quest for the enjoyment of their human rights. There are challenges but these are evidently surmountable,” she added.

Inspired by her experiences as a person with albinism, Ms. Ero spent the last seven years working on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. As international advocacy and legal officer of Under the Same Sun, an NGO with a focus on albinism, she participated in multiple activities and panels at the UN in Geneva and New York.

She has extensive experience in research, policy development and advocacy in the field of albinism.

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.
-0- PANA AR 11June2018

11 Junho 2018 18:05:17




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