International Albinism Awareness Day 2024

June 13th has been designated as International Albinism Awareness Day 2024 by a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 2014. The International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) is a worldwide event that calls for action to elevate the voices of those who live with albinism and to advance their rights.

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The objectives for the commemorations are:

  • To raise consciousness on albinism.
  • To demonstrate positive messages and speak with one voice.
  • To promote discussion among interested parties about how to deal with social exclusion, stigma, marginalization, and vulnerability.

History of International Albinism Awareness Day

International Albinism Awareness Day was first Gazetted by the United Nations General Assembly on the 18th of December in 2014 and was to be observed on the 13th of June every year. This historic resolution affirmed to the world that advocacy for albinism was an important cause. NOAH also stands with the global Albino community to popularize the International Albinism Awareness Day on the 13th of June every year.

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Early developments

In the mid-2000s, some of the news that reached the public domain were alarming involving the increased cases of violence including the murder of persons with albinism in Tanzania. Several other accounts have alleged that perpetrators of such actions attributed supernatural qualities to the bodies of people with albinism, explaining their actions as an attempt to benefit from lucky charms and occult practices.

Before the year 2015, the offenders targeted and p290 killed more than seventy people and left several others injured. In this regard, TAS and other NGOs started sensitizing the human rights of persons with albinism through various protests. TAS held the first Albino Day on the 4th of May in the year 2006. Since the year 2009, it has been known as National Albino Day and finally acquired its current name of National Albinism Day.

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United Nations Observance

The late Yusuf Mohamed Ismail Bari-Bari, the former Ambassador of the Mission of Somalia to the U. N., Geneva was the key spearhead in the passing of the resolution in consultation with Under the Same Sun which is a non-governmental organization that seeks to foster the protection of the rights of people with albinism, mainly in Africa. Subsequently, NOAH joined a celebration of the event at the UN as a “side event” in honor of the adoption of the resolution.

The late Excellency Bari-Bari opened and closed the event, recanting a moment that he once shared an unfortunate encounter with Pope Francis informing him of the continuous killings of the albinos in Africa. Other officials also came to the meeting and each of them had a chance to make speeches in favor of the resolution. Such attendees participated in the event: the delegations of Italy, Israel, Canada, and the United States in the United Nations, the United Nations Special Representative on Violence against Children, as well as a representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund and several important personalities in the field of albinism.

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Ever before this was the first time that the albino issue was addressed by the Human Rights Council through the adoption of its first resolution on the matter on June 13, 2013. In its afterword, the Human Rights Council in its resolution 26/10 of June 26, 2014, suggested recommending to proclaim June 13 as the International Albinism Awareness Day in the United Nations General Assembly.

The UN’s General Assembly then on the 18th of December 2014 passed resolution 69/170 approving the International Albinism Awareness Day beginning from the year 2015 to observed on the 13th of June. The chosen date also significant in that it refers to the UN first resolution which adopted on June 13 a year prior. Today, IAAD commemorated globally in Tanzania, Argentina, Senegal, Fiji, France, the United Kingdom, and Namibia among other places.

The Theme for 2024: A Decade of Group Advancement

2024 will be ten years since the International Albinism Awareness Day was first celebrated. To mark this occasion, this year’s theme is IAAD A Decade of Collective Progress 10 th Anniversary.

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This theme invites us to:

  • On the one hand to appreciate the achievements of the movement on the other hand to pledge for upcoming movements and achievements.
  • Emphasize the constant work of appreciation and advocacy from organizations that cater to albinism across the globe;
  • Contemplate the legal, policy, and practical reforms that need to implemented. To achieve the purpose of guaranteeing the rights of persons with albinism.

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Way Forward

On International Albinism Awareness Day in 2024. We will celebrate ten years of campaigning and advancement for those who are albino. This day, which observed on June 13th, attempts to increase global awareness, give voice to those who are albinos. And encourage dialogue about overcoming stigma and societal exclusion.

The theme for 2024, “A Decade of Collective Progress,” recognizes the accomplishments and urges further work for practical, legislative, and policy changes to protect the rights and well-being of individuals with albinism. We must promise additional assistance and action for the global albinism community as we celebrate this significant occasion.

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