The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for support for people with albinism, urging societies that marginalise and stigmatise them to turn a new leaf.
Obaseki, who made the call in commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day, marked on June 13, each year, stressed that it was time for a change of attitude towards people with albinism.
“With the deluge of information on the internet, the myth and unscientific views many societies hold of people with albinism should have no place in an information age. But unfortunately, some societies still despise and exclude them. This needs to stop,” the governor advised.
According to Obaseki: “Some of the most hardworking people I have met are people with albinism, despite their peculiar needs, which are often not captured by human resource managers in the private and public sectors.”
He saluted champions of the cause of people with albinism and challenged families, religious institutions, the media, opinion and thought leaders as well as governments at all levels, to intensify the campaign for the social inclusion of people with albinism.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2014, adopted a Resolution proclaiming, with effect from 2015, 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day.
According to the global body, “The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism.
“Moreover, in response to the call from civil society organisations advocating to consider persons with albinism as a specific group with particular needs that require special attention, on 26 March 2015, the Council created the mandate of Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
“In January 2016, Ms. Ikponwosa Ero, United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism submitted her first report on albinism to the UN Human Rights Council. Adding to the information contained in the July 2016 report to the General Assembly, the latest report was presented to the Human Rights Council in 2017 and included a focus on witchcraft as a key root cause of attacks against persons with albinism.”