Albinism Awareness Day
This year the Albinism Awareness day 13 June 2020 is celebrated under the theme Made to Shine The event was organized under the overall leadership of AlbiMoz a civil society organization of persons with albinism in partnership with the Ministry of Justice Constitutional and Religious Affairs of Mozambique and in collaboration with UNESCO In Mozambique the celebration took place at the Quisse Mavota Secondary School in Maputo city Due to circumstances triggered by the Covid19 the number of attendees was limited to 20 to allow social distancing The Mayor of Maputo City Dr Eneas Comiche the City Councilor of Kamubukwana district Rui Matusse the National Director for Human Rights and Citizenship from the Ministry of Justice Constitutional and Religious Rights Dr Albachir Macassar the Representative of UNESCO Mozambique Mr Paul Gomis the President of Albimoz an active civil society organizations of persons with albinism Mr Williamo Tomás staff of the UN Human Rights office and significant number of persons with albinism attended the event The event was widely covered by the media Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18 2014 the celebration of the Albinism Awareness day was an opportunity for UNESCO to educate the public on issues of concern to mobilize political will and resources to address developmental and human rights challenges faced by persons with albinism to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity Given the circumstances in which the event occurred UNESCO took the opportunity to support the event by providing masks and alcohol gel for persons with albinism As pointed out by Mr Gomis the State of Emergency triggered by the Covid19 aggravates the discrimination and violations of human rights already faced by persons with albinism particularly women and children In this context many of them have been left behind because their physical appearance already expose them to myths exclusion various degrees of stigmatization and human rights abuse extending from being discriminated and bullied to being killed for their body parts This day is important in Mozambique across Africa and indeed throughout the world Albinism is a rare genetically inherited noncontagious condition resulting in a deficiency of melanin pigment in hair eyes and skin It occurs worldwide however its prevalence tends to be highest in SubSaharan African countries For UNESCO under its mandate to build peace of minds of children women and men a society of tolerance and respect for human rights this day was intended to raise awareness expose and make steps to addressing some of the issues Persons with Albinism face in their lives
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