People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.
In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world.
On 18 December 2014, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming, with effect from 2015, 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day.
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism. Moreover, in response to the call from civil society organizations advocating to consider persons with albinism as a specific group with particular needs that require special attention, on 26 March 2015, the Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
In January 2016, Ms. Ikponwosa Ero, United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism submitted her first report on albinism to the UN Human Rights Council. Adding to the information contained in the July 2016 report to the General Assembly, the latest report was presented to the Human Rights Council in 2017 and included a focus on witchcraft as a key root cause of attacks against persons with albinism.
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