Albinism is a congenital disorder that occurs in human beings due to absolute or partial absence of a pigment in the skin, eyes and hair. International Albinism Awareness Day is marked on 13 June. This day aims to raise awareness among people about albinism and the rights of people suffering from the disease.
The disease happens due to lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin and eyes, which makes a person vulnerable to the Sun and bright light.
In the mid-2000s, there were reports of violent attacks and murders of people with albinism in Tanzania. The attacks were advocated with the belief that people with albinism posessed magical powers, as a result in 2015, 70 people were killed and even more were harmed. Due to this, the Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) and other NGOs came together to lobby for the rights of people with albinism.
A resolution was brought when the Human Rights Council on 13 June 2013 adopted the first resolution ever on albinism. In its resolution 26/10 of 26 June 2014, the Human Rights Council recommended 13 June to be marked as International Albinism Awareness Day. The day first became official when the UN’s General Assembly adopted a resolution on 18 December 2014 that proclaimed 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day with effect from 2015.
What is the significance?
The day is marked every year on 13 June to bring about awareness among the people about albinism and the rights of people with albinism. Different types of events are organised to educate people and celebrate people with albinism who still face human right violations.
The theme for the year 2022 is “United in making our voice heard”.
The theme was chosen for various reasons. These are:
To include voices of persons with albinism to ensure equality;
To celebrate how groups of persons with albinism and individuals increase the visibility of people suffering from the disease in all domains of life;
To encourage and celebrate unity between the groups of persons living with albinism;
Amplifying the voices and visibility of persons with albinism in different areas of life;
Highlighting the work being done by albinism groups in different parts of the world.