International Albinism Awareness Day is marked on June 13 to commemorate people with albinism’s human rights and to promote awareness about their health condition.
What is albinism?
Albinism is a genetically inherited, rare, non-contagious condition that manifests itself at birth. For practically all varieties of albinism to be handed down, both parents must carry the gene, even if they do not have albinism. The illness affects both sexes, regardless of ethnicity, and occurs in every country on the planet. Albinism is characterized by a lack of pigment (melanin) in the hair, skin, and eyes, making the person vulnerable to the sun and strong light. As a result, practically everyone who has albinism is visually impaired and at risk for skin cancer. Albinism, which is caused by a lack of melanin, has no cure. It affects about one in every 17,000 to 20,000 people in North America and Europe, according to estimates. The disease is far more common in Sub-Saharan Africa, with estimations of 1 in 1,400 persons being infected in Tanzania and prevalence rates as high as 1 in 1,000 recorded in Zimbabwe and other ethnic groups in Southern Africa.
The History of International Albinism Awareness Day
In 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against people with albinism, citing the fact that albinism is still widely misunderstood, both socially and medically, and that people with albinism’s physical appearance is frequently the subject of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which contribute to their marginalization and social exclusion, as well as various forms of stigma and discrimination.
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on December 18, 2014, designating June 13th as International Albinism Awareness Day. This landmark resolution reaffirmed the international community’s commitment to albinism advocacy. On March 26, 2015, the Council established the mandate of Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism in response to a call from civil society organizations advocating that people with albinism be treated as a distinct group with unique needs that require special attention.
The Theme of International Albinism Awareness Day 2022
The theme for the IAAD this year is “United in making our voice heard.” It honors the effort to raise awareness about albinism and emphasizes the progress made so far for people with albinism. The theme also aims to promote togetherness and highlight the many different aspects of albinism-affected people’s life.
Because including the voices of people with albinism is critical to ensuring equality, the theme was chosen;
- To celebrate how groups of people with albinism and individuals increase the visibility of people with albinism in all domains of life.
- To encourage and celebrate unity among groups of people with albinism.
- To amplify the voices and visibility of people with albinism in all areas of life.
- To highlight the work being done by albinism groups around the world.
Health challenges of people living with albinism
Because albinism is characterized by a lack of melanin, people with albinism are more prone to skin cancer. In some nations, the majority of albino people die of skin cancer between the ages of 30 and 40. When people with albinism exercise their right to health, skin cancer is generally avoidable. Regular health checks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun-protective gear are all included. These life-saving tools are unavailable or inaccessible in a large number of countries. As a result, albinos have been and continue to be among those “left behind” in terms of development measures. As a result, they should be targeted for human rights interventions in the way that the Sustainable Development Goals intend.
We will all do well to embrace the fact that albinism is simply a matter of skin tone; don’t use it as a justification for pity and sympathy. They look like us and act in the same way that we do. Their shading tone is distinct, but they simply look like us; shake hands, and get along. Happy International Albinism Awareness Day 2022!