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Bureau Régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest

Albinism : World Awareness Day Office of the...

Albinism : World Awareness Day
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights relies on legislative framework and awareness to protect people with albinism

Dakar, 13 June 2021 : International community is celebrating the International Albinism Awareness Day, this Sunday, June 13, 2021, on the theme “Strength beyond everything”. The celebration is a strong moment of advocacy to protect this very vulnerable community victim of discrimination.
At this occasion, in her statement Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said : “Today we mark International Albinism Awareness Day in tribute to persons with albinism across the world who stand strong despite the challenges they face. This theme also expresses solidarity with all people as we battle the global pandemic of COVID-19.”
Indeed, the pandemic, which has exacerbated economic difficulties in West Africa, has also affected people with albinism. The socio-economic effects of the pandemic also appear to have increased harmful practices involving bodies of people with albinism.

In Africa, the African Union Action Plan on Albinism (2021-2031) was developed following extensive collaboration between the AU and people with albinism on the continent. Important policies and laws have been adopted, or are under development, notably in Guinea and Nigeria. These measures, along with others taken by governments, United Nations and civil society, are essential to ensure respect for human rights and to support OHCHR’s commitment to leave no one behind.

According to the regional director of the OHCHR in West Africa, Mr. Andrea Ori “It is by raising awareness and developing a legislative framework in line with international standards that we can promote protection of people with albinism and especially fight against discrimination and violence of which they may be victims”.

The Republic of Guinea marked the day with a social mobilization and awareness campaign. Mr. Patrice Vahard, Representative of HCHR was received there on this occasion by HE. Ms. Aissata Daffe, Minister of Social Action and Children, to discuss the means of popularization of the law protecting the rights of people with albinism, of which Guinea was the first country in the world to endow it.

Mr. Patrice Vahard believes that : "The law aims to promote inclusion and the fight against all discrimination against people with albinism, by allowing them to become full citizens". OHCHR fights all stereotypes and stigma and encourages the use of the terminology "People with albinism" rather than the term "albino".

Media contact :
Habibou Dia, Public Information Officer, OHCHR West Africa -+221 774 472 776 – hdia@ohchr.org