SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the first International Albinism Awareness Day

New York, 13 June 2015 - SRSG Santos Pais joins other partners in welcoming the first International Albinism Awareness Day, which is celebrated today.

“I warmly welcome this recognition by the UN General Assembly to devote a special day to raise awareness on persons with albinism.”

The lives of children with albinism are surrounded by neglect and abuse, stigma, marginalization, discrimination, prejudice, superstitions and misconceptions simply because of their genetic condition andbecause they look different. Discrimination condemns these children to a position of extreme vulnerability, and to tolerance of violence against them in many countries in the world.

“The serious violations of the rights of children with albinism to survival and development, to protection from discrimination and to freedom from violence remain a priority concern for my mandate” said SRSG Santos Pais.

The International Awareness Day is a unique opportunity to promote laws and policies to better protect children with albinism from all forms of violence and to overcome social conventions that lead to stigmatization and to the extreme social and structural discrimination. There is a pressing need for a comprehensive data system and in-depth monitoring and research into attacks on people with albinism.

“In this regard, I welcome the decision of the Human Rights Council to establish an independent expert on the rights of persons with albinism, and look forward to collaborating closely with the independent expert once appointed.”