Africa: International Albinism Awareness Day is commemorated annually on June 13 to celebrate the human rights of persons with albinism worldwide.

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism since it is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically, and the physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalisation and social exclusion and leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.

Albinism is characterised by a lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. Persons with albinism often have a permanent visual impairment. Throughout the world, one in 20,000 people have albinism. The disorder is most prevalent in parts of Africa. About one in four people in South Africa have albinism.

The 2022 Theme is “United in making our voice heard” Sadly, bullies target people with albinism calling them names. They are also often the object of discrimination.

In Asian countries, babies with albinism are abandoned or rejected by their families. In other countries, those with albinism face barriers to health and education. Some people with albinism are often the object of erroneous beliefs, myths, and superstitions.

In countries where witchcraft is prevalent, people are known to kidnap children with albinism and remove their body parts for charms and magical potions. Worse yet, some people target persons with albinism executing heinous attacks and killings.

For all of these reasons, it’s crucial to protect the human rights of those with this condition.

The South African National Council for the Blind supports the efforts to protect and preserve the rights of persons with albinism to life, dignity and security, as well as their right not to be subject to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to continue their efforts to ensure equal access for persons with albinism to employment, education, justice and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.