Advocacy statements

The importance of education for and about persons with albinism

  • Date / 2024
  • Relevant Institution / UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Item / Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights

Statement by Humanists International
55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (26 February to 5 April 2024)
Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by
persons with albinism

Speaker: Wonderful Mkhutche

Mr President.

We thank the Independent Expert for her excellent report.[1]

As she observed, “The multitude of superstitions and myths, as well as the lack of understanding of albinism, have led to widespread discrimination against persons with albinism,” including within the area of education. People with albinism face stigma and persecution as they are thought to be ghosts in human form. Bullying is also a significant issue that persons with albinism have to endure, especially from their fellow learners. Some are excluded from school curricula and higher education, and some are refused admission altogether.

Accordingly, in addition to the recommendations set out by the Independent Expert to better ensure access to education for persons with albinism, we emphasize the need for more education and training about the challenges faced by persons with albinism, including harmful practices, bullying and hate crimes. This should be directed both at educators themselves but also the population more widely.

Together, we must increase awareness and understanding so as to foster mindset change, including by policy actors and legislators. Through this, we must also ensure assistive devices and financial support for persons with albinism in schools across the globe. We urge the Council to support the Expert in this endeavor.

Thank you.

[1] A/HRC/55/45

Suggested academic reference

'The importance of education for and about persons with albinism', Humanists International

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