International Albinism Awareness Day 2021: Theme, History and Significance

·2-min read

Albinism is a congenital disorder which is seen in humans due to absolute or partial absence of pigment in the skin, eyes and hair. International Albinism Awareness Day is observed on June 13. This day is marked to raise and create awareness among people about albinism and the human rights of people with albinism. The theme of the day this year is #StrengthBeyondAllOdds.

The reason for choosing this theme is to primarily highlight the good qualities of those with albinism across the globe. This year the theme also aims to shed light on how people with albinism are made to defy all odds and exceed expectations in all domains of life. Most importantly, the theme of 2021 encourages people around the world to join hands in the global effort to #BuildBackBetter.

In the mid-2000s, there were reports of attacks and murders of people with albinism in Tanzania. The violence against them was linked with the belief that they had magical powers. In 2015, approximately 70 people with albinism were killed. After this incident, Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) and other NGOs pro-actively started working for the rights of these people.

Finally, on June 13, 2013 the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the first resolution ever on albinism. In the resolution, it recommended that June 13 be marked as International Albinism Awareness Day. The day however became official after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution on December 18, 2014 and declared that June 13 will be observed as International Albinism Awareness Day with effect from 2015.

This year since it is not possible to hold physical gatherings and campaigns to raise awareness about the day, people have been urged to do the same virtually. Many online events, and webinars will be held on the day to hold discussions around the rights of those with Albinism.

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