International Albinism Awareness Day
On 18 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/170 proclaiming that from 2015, June 13 would be recognized as International Albinism Awareness Day. Albinism Trust New Zealand estimates that there are 75 children living with Albinism in New Zealand.
Albinism is a genetic condition where people are born without the usual pigment (color) in their bodies. Their bodies aren’t able to make a normal amount of melanin which is responsible for eye, skin, and hair color. Most people with albinism have very pale skin, hair, and eyes. Albinism can affect people of all races, and there are different kinds of albinism. The two most common challenges faced by people with Albinism include low vision and sensitivity to sunlight.
In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition put the security and life of persons with albinism at risk. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has received information from various countries on cases of killings and dismembering of persons with albinism for ritual purposes. The full 2013 Report ‘Persons with Albinism’ by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is available at this link.
International Albinism Awareness Day is an opportunity for people all over the world to consider the challenges facing those living with albinism.