Efforts needed to end discrimination against people with albinism

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A caregiver attends to an abandoned toddler with albinism in Goma, North Kivu, DRC. UN File Photo/Marie Frechon

Countries are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to make a special effort to end discrimination against people with albinism.

Ban Ki-moon's call comes in a message for International Albinism Awareness Day, observed this Monday, 13 June.

Albinism is characterized by a lack of melanin pigment, which gives colour to skin, hair and eyes.

People with the condition have lighter than normal skin and hair, and often vision problems.

Dianne Penn reports.

As the Secretary-General observed, albinism is found in every country and society, regardless of people's ethnicity or gender.

Sadly, he added, discrimination and stigmatization of people with albinism also exists to varying degrees worldwide.

In some countries they have been attacked and even killed due to mistaken beliefs that their body parts have magical powers.

Mr Ban urged countries and stakeholders to recognize that human rights apply to all people everywhere, including those with albinism.

He called for special efforts to end the discrimination which threatens the wellbeing, health and even lives of people with albinism.

He also urged governments to target these citizens with programmes that will enable them to play a full part in society.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 51″

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