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International Albinism Awareness Day 2020 – June 13

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International-Albinism-Awareness-Day13th June of every year is observed as the International Albinism Awareness Day(IAAD) to create awareness about albinism and the human rights for the people with albinism. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed June 13 as International Albinism Awareness Day in its resolution in 2014 and celebrated it for the first time in 2015.

The theme of International Albinism Awareness Day 2020 is “Made to Shine” with an aim to celebrate the achievements of the successful people with albinism all over the world and to support the albinos with challenges.

Background:

i.The day is designated based on the recommendation of the Human Rights Council in June 2013 on the attacks and Discriminations against the people with Albinism and in June 2014 on International Albinism Awareness Day.

ii.June 13 is chosen to commemorate the first ever UN resolution of albinism on June 13, 2013.

Albinism:

i.It is a non-contagious, genetically inherited rare condition which is caused due to lack of melanin pigmentation in hair, skin and eyes.

ii.This causes high sensitivity to sun and bright lights and most of the people with albinism are visually impaired and have high chances to develop skin cancer with a life expectancy of 30-40 years.

iii.It is estimated that one in every 17000 to 20000 people in North America or Europe, 14000 people in Tanzania and 1000 in Zimbabwe and other South African ethnic groups have some form of Albinism.

Violence against albinos:

i.Due to ignorance about the origin of their skin color the Albinos of Africa are mostly killed, prosecuted or isolated.

ii.The body parts of albinos are sold in black market for more than 75000 USD (around Rs.57 lakh) for use of Witchcraft potions.

Key Points:

i.The United Nations Human Right Office of High Commissioner appointed Ikponwosa Ero of Nigeria as the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by people with albinism in June 2015.

ii.The Campaign by the Human right commission “People with Albinism: Not Ghosts but Human Beings” is established to create awareness and to prevent the violence against albinos.

Successful Albinos:

Mehak Siddiqui – Writer(Indian)

Connie Chiu – Singer, model

Kelly Gallagher – Athlete(Skier)

Shaun Ross – Actor, Dancer, model

About Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR):
High Commissioner– Michelle Bachelet
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland