The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged for coordinated global efforts to end marginalisation and stigmatisation against people with albinism, noting the need to step up sensitisation campaign and drive home the campaign against discrimination.
The governor made the call in commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day, marked on June 13, each year.
Obaseki said coordinated effort is needed for attitudinal change towards people with albinism, noting, “There is a need for people to support awareness campaign to counter myths and false beliefs that promote marginalisation and stigmitisation against people with albinism.”
On the 2019 theme to mark the Albinism Awareness Day “Still Standing Strong,” the governor said, “As the world marks the International Albinism Awareness Day, I encourage persons with albinism to remain resolute in defying odds against them by ensuring they break barriers and succeed in their chosen fields of endeavours despite their peculiar needs.”
The governor tasked religious institutions, corporate bodies, civil rights groups as well as governments at all levels, to join in the campaign to encourage social inclusion for people with albinism.
The governor also hailed Ms. Ikponmwosa Ero, United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism, for her efforts in fighting the cause of persons with Albinism across the world. Ero submitted the first report on albinism to the UN Human Rights Council in 2016.
According to him, “It is interesting that one of our own is fighting the noble cause of Albinos worldwide. We are very proud of her work and will continue to push for and support reforms to mitigate discrimination against people with albinism.”
The United Nations General Assembly in 2014, adopted a Resolution proclaiming, with effect from 2015, 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day.
According to the global body, “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 organisations 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.