International Albinism Awareness Day 2022: Theme, History & Significance
International Albinism Awareness Day helps us raise attention towards the importance of human rights for people with albinism.
Albinism is the absence of melanin is the body which causes lack of pigment to the skin, hair and eyes
Every year, International Albinism Awareness Day is observed on June 13. This day is dedicated to the people living with albinism and marking the celebration of their human rights.
Albinism is a rare, genetically inherited, non-contagious disease that is caused at birth. It causes a loss of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin, and eyes, making them more susceptible to the sun and strong light. As a result, practically everyone who has albinism is visually impaired and at risk for skin cancer. There is no cure for albinism.
This year, the theme for International Albinism Awareness Day is “United In Making Our Voice Heard.”
According to the United Nations, the theme was chosen for the following reasons:
- To include the voices of people with albinism in order to achieve equality.
- To recognise how albino groups and individuals are increasing the visibility of albino people in all aspects of life.
- To promote and celebrate albino unity among groups of people.
- To increase the visibility and voice of people with albinism in all aspects of life.
- To bring attention to the work that albinism organisations around the world are doing.
The United Nations General Assembly laid the foundation of International Albinism Awareness Day on December 18, 2014. As per the resolution, it was decided that International Albinism Awareness Day will be celebrated on June 13 every year, from 2015.
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the resolution in regard to International Albinism Awareness Day aiming to prevent discrimination and attacks against people with albinism. This day is dedicated to people with albinism highlighting their human rights.
Albinism affects about one in every 17,000 to 20,000 people in North America and Europe, according to estimates. The disease is far more common in Sub-Saharan Africa, with estimations of 1 in 1,400 persons being infected in Tanzania and prevalence rates as high as 1 in 1,000 recorded in Zimbabwe and other ethnic groups in Southern Africa.
It was important to come up with a day for people living with albinism to educate the masses about the disease and make this world a better place for the ones living with the health condition. At some point in time, albinism was misunderstood by society. People with the disease had to face marginalisation and social exclusion because of their appearance and the whole stigma built around the condition. Hence, this day is observed in an attempt to mark the importance of people living with albinism.
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