New York, 13 June 2022 (TDI): People with Albinism suffer grave human rights violations daily in the form of inequality and injustice. For this purpose, each year, 13 June is celebrated as “International Albinism Awareness Day” worldwide to spread awareness regarding the rare genetic condition.
According to the United Nations, social inclusion for people with Albinism worsened during Covid-19. Further, they face discrimination due to their skin color and feel isolated due to health conditions.
Every day, people with albinism suffer serious human rights violations — and this situation has worsened amid #COVID19.
Yet, they continue to defy odds, overcome hurdles & face injustices with resilience.
— United Nations (@UN) June 13, 2022
Furthermore, the day is celebrated to encourage and commemorate unity among groups of persons with Albinism. Also, to highlight people’s positive work with Albinism worldwide by amplifying their voices.
This year, the day’s theme is “United in making our voices heard.” This theme emphasizes the need to include the voices of people with Albinism for social inclusion.
In addition, the theme focuses on how people with Albinism increase the visibility of persons with Albinism in all domains of life.
Meanwhile, Albinismis found in both sexes regardless of race, ethnicity, or location. According to the UN, Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, and genetically inherited condition at birth.
The specific gene which expresses this condition is present in both parents. Meanwhile, the global estimates indicate that 1 in every 17,000-20,000 people in North America has some Albinism.
Consequently, the situation is more prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 1 in every 1400 people in Tanzania suffers from this rare condition. In addition, 1 in 1000 people in Zimbabwe suffers from this condition.
Accordingly, the condition leads to a lack of pigmentation (known as melanin) in hair, skin, and eyes. Due to this, people with Albinism face difficulty in facing the sun and exposure to bright light.
Likely, they are also prone to developing skin cancer. In addition, they are at high risk of developing visual impairments. Subsequently, the life span of the people ranges from 30 to 40 years.
However, these issues are preventable through regular health assessments, sunscreens, and protective clothing to reduce exposure to sunlight.
Yet, these lifesaving supplies are unavailable or inaccessible in many parts of the world. Hence, the people with Albinism are listed as “left furthest behind” and require interventions through SDGs.
Discrimination against Albinism
To eradicate discrimination against Albinism, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 (A/HRC/RES/23/13).
In addition, the council has created the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with Albinism.