World Albinism Alliance and International Albinism Awareness Day June 13th 2015
The World Albinism Alliance (WAA) was formed in 2011 to bring together Albinism Societies from around the world. The WAA was established in 2012, founded on discussions dating back almost two decades. The WAA has over 40 active participants with representation from all of the world’s continents.
Albinism is a genetic condition affecting all peoples of the world. It is due to reduction of the pigment melanin. People with albinism (also known as “albinos”) have fair hair and skin and most are legally blind. People with albinism face misrepresentation and discrimination across the globe. The extent of the issues varies greatly, ranging from discrimination, bullying, and inaccurate representation in movies, through to heinous physical attacks and violence. Over 360 attacks on people with albinism have been documented in over 25 countries because our body parts are thought to bring good fortune and we are thought of as ghosts not human beings.
Recognising the inherent worth and importance of connecting all people with albinism across the globe, the WAA endeavours to unite existing, and assist in the creation of new, albinism organizations worldwide to ensure that people with albinism are treated with dignity and respect according to the law, heritage and culture of their birth right consistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The WAA also aims to provide complete and accurate information about albinism to those with the condition, medical professionals, educators and the public; and to promote scientific research to more fully understand and manage albinism.
The WAA’s work to date has focused on establishing active dialogue and connection with albinism associations and working with the United Nations Human Rights Commission on its albinism awareness campaign. The WAA looks forward to working towards achieving our other goals over the coming years.
The World Albinism Alliance acknowledges, and strongly supports International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD). IAAD was endorsed by the United Nations to be celebrated throughout the world on June 13th each year. June 13th is a significant date in the history of albinism, being the date of the United Nations’ adoption of an historic resolution recognising and addressing attacks and discrimination facing people with albinism. The WAA strongly acknowledges the work of Under The Same Sun in international albinism advocacy and values its partnership with this organisation.
The WAA strongly condemns all acts of inhumanity, intolerance or any other forms of discrimination to people with albinism around the world.
IAAD has been acknowledged through dozens of local gatherings throughout the world and has received extensive press coverage. Through local advocacy and media coverage, albinism issues have gained global awareness. IAAD has been a day of celebration, reflection and by people with albinism. This has been the first of many wonderful Albinism Awareness days to come.
Dr Shari Parker, President World Albinism Alliance
On behalf of all members of the World Albinism Alliance www.worldalbinism.org
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