Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    10 June 2016

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    Message on International Albinism Awareness Day

    13 June 2016

    VIENNA, 13 June (UN Information Service) - Albinism is found in every country and society in the world, regardless of people's ethnicity or gender. Sadly, discrimination and stigmatization of people with albinism also exists to varying degrees all over the world.

    Albinism has often been subjected to mystification, triggering erroneous beliefs and myths.

    The completely mistaken belief that potions or amulets made from the body parts of people with albinism have magical powers has given rise in some countries to a demand for such human remains. This has led to attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism, and even to the theft of their bodies from graveyards.

    Thanks to the long history of discrimination and stigmatization of albinism, in some places, people with this condition may live in abject poverty, without access to basic services like accommodation, healthcare and education.

    The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda pledges to leave no one behind. That includes people with albinism. The cycle of attacks, discrimination and poverty must be broken.

    On this second International Albinism Awareness Day, I welcome the appointment of the first Independent Expert on the human rights of people with albinism.

    I call on all countries and stakeholders to recognize that human rights apply to all people everywhere, including people with albinism. I urge them to make special efforts to end the discrimination that threatens the wellbeing, health and even the lives of people with albinism, and to target them with programmes that will enable them to play a full part in society.

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