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UNITED NATIONS

NATIONS UNI
ES

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
-MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL ALBINISM AWARENESS DAY
13 June 2016
Albinism is found in every country and society in the world, regardless of peoples 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.