Persons with albinism face bullying, prejudice and violence in many parts of the world. In certain regions, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, have led to ritual killings, violent attacks and abductions against persons with albinism, including children.
International Albinism Awareness Day, proclaimed by the United Nations in 2014, is an opportunity for all of us to consider the challenges faced by those living with albinism. It is also a day to pay tribute to the dedicated activists who stand for the rights of persons with albinism around the world.
The proclamation of this international day, as well as the appointment of the first ever UN Independent Expert in 2015, are important steps towards increasing attention to this issue and to putting an end to discrimination, stigmatisation and violence against persons with albinism around the world.
Much more needs to be done. All possible measures need to be taken to provide greater protection to persons with albinism at risk, to investigate crimes committed on this basis and to end the cycle of impunity of perpetrators. Comprehensive strategies to eradicate discriminatory practices and to ensure that persons with albinism have adequate access to health care, social services, employment and education need to be adopted.
The European Union will continue to support this work so that persons with albinism can live in dignity, free from violence and discrimination.