Member of Parliament for the Krachi Nchumuru constituency, John Majisi has called for an increased effort to eliminate unnecessary discrimination and stigmatisation against persons with albinism in Ghana and beyond.
According to him, there has been an increasing reports of attacks and discrimination on people with albinism in the country, including denial of employment opportunity and social gathering due to their condition.
Mr Majisi made the call when he address Journalists after he delivered a statement on the floor in commemoration of the 2020 world Day for Persons with Albinism on Wednesday June 17, 2020
In some Africa countries ,specially Tanzania and Malawi in they are murdered and mutilated for ritual and others super situational reasons.
In that view, Hon Majisi pleaded that government should take steps to implement policies to end the barbaric and inhuman behaviour against people with albinism.
International Albinism Awareness Day which is observed annually 13th June was adopted on the 8th of December 2014, at the United Nations General Assembly, basically to create awareness about Albinism worldwide, to mobilize political will and resources to address the abuse of the rights of Persons with Albinism.
This year awareness day was celebrated under the theme “Made To Shine”‘ which Hon Majisi challenged persons with albinism to discard the self stigmatisation and shine to the world with their capacities to contribute to society.
Read Full Statement.
A STATEMENT BY JOHN MAJISI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR KRACHI NCHUMURU CONSTITUENCY ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ALBINISM AWARENESS DAY (IAAD) 13TH JUNE 2020
Right Honourable Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity given to me to make this statement on the eve of the celebration of the International Albinism Awareness Day. Tomorrow, Saturday 13th June is the International Albinism Awareness Day. On the 8th December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing 13th June as International Albinism Awareness Day. The Day is basically to create awareness about Albinism worldwide, to mobilize political will and resources to address the abuse of the rights of Persons with Albinism in view of the numerous societal challenges they face. Every year the day is celebrated under a unique theme. For the 2020 celebration, the theme chosen is: ‘Made To Shine”
Who are Persons with Albinism?
Mr Speaker, Persons with Albinism are individuals with a congenital condition characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes, due to a lack or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. Most Persons with Albinism have snow-white skin, snow-white hair, and no pigment in their eyes.
Many people ask whether albinism is also a disability. Persons with Albinism are usually as healthy as the rest of the population, with growth and development occurring as normal, but can be classified as having a disability because of the associated visual impairments. It is observed that Albinism is associated with a number of vision defects, such as photophobia, nystagmus and amblyopia. Albinism has a worldwide coverage but the prevalence varies from one region to the other. Africa is estimated to have a high prevalence of Albinism. Across Africa, between one in 5,000 and one in 15,000 live with Albinism. It is believed that this range is a conservative estimate, since data is inconsistent across the continent. Tanzania alone records about 200,000 Persons with Albinism (Gifford 2015: 15), Ghana, for instance, is estimated to have a record number of about 2,000
Right Honourable Speaker, Persons with albinism face discrimination and barriers that restrict their participation in society on an equal basis with others. As a result, they are more likely to experience social exclusion and poverty. Discrimination through mockery, bullying and name calling, normalized isolation and segregation, restricted access to health services and the denial of reasonable accommodation are some of the challenges faced by persons with albinism worldwide. It is noted by (Murray 2015: 223-225) in African communities, persons with Albinism often become fugitives by default not because of any fault of theirs but due to their condition. The stigma of albinism also affects family members, notably mothers, who may experience events that have a strong and negative impact on their psychological and social well-being.
Mr Speaker, ‘Made to Shine” is the theme for this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day. The theme was chosen to celebrate the achievements and successes of Persons with Albinism worldwide. It is also a call on all to stand in solidarity with people with albinism through their challenges. In this unprecedented time, people with albinism continue to suffer all types of human rights violations. Recently, in some countries, they have been branded “Corona” or “COVID-19” in an attempt to scapegoat them for the pandemic. Killings, attacks, bullying, dehumanizing stigma and discrimination continue against people with albinism. Yet on this day, we are reminded that in spite of these horrific practices, people with albinism continue to defy odds, overcome hurdles and face up to injustices with resilience.
The theme for 2020 International Albinism Awareness Day which has purposely been selected is a build-up on the various themes under which the day has been celebrated since 2015
This year’s theme, Made To Shine seeks to focus on appreciating and promoting the outcome of countries, organizations and individuals’ struggle to promote the security, fundamental human rights and freedom of persons with Albinism
The theme draws attention to the resilience of the Albinism Community from repercussions and the growing and motivated interest of Development Partners and Civil Society Organization to create an enabling environment for persons with albinism to actively and effectively participate fully in society at all levels.
Also it recognizes the proliferation of vibrant organizations of and for persons with albinism as well as strong representation and visibility of persons with albinism in government of some states as means of strengthening advocacy and equity in human diversity.
Furthermore the theme is pointing to the fact that persons with albinism remained committed to the struggle and advocacy for equality and freedom that has created the opportunity for them to become visible and actively involved in society. Despite the numerous challenges they face in society, there is advancement of persons with albinism in almost all facets of life.
Above all, the theme sees the need to appreciate and celebrate the achievement and contributions of some great individuals with albinism as well as encourage all persons with albinism to have confidence in themselves and strive relentlessly to live dignifying lives.
Right Honourable speaker, the Albinism Community acknowledge the fact that they are made to shine and will continue to shine and are strongly calling for domestication and full implementation of all National and International Albinism Regulations and Action Plan. It’s worth mentioning that out of the countries that have signed to the Action Plan, Ghana government through its agencies has not taken any action towards the implementation.
As we celebrate the 2020 THE INTERNATIONAL ALBINISM AWARENESS DAY (IAAD) 13TH JUNE 2020 we are called upon to stand together with Persons with Albinism all over the world in their fight to live a life that is free of stigma, discrimination, fear and violence in world where they are made to shine.
THANK YOU MR SPEAKER FOR THE OPPORTUNITY