The worst expression of discrimination against persons with albinism is their dehumanization, which lays the foundation for horrifying physical attacks against them. Because some believe that they are magical beings or ghosts, they mutilate or even kill them, so their body parts can be used for witchcraft rituals. Meet the Champions of the albinism cause, who are sharing their stories in an effort to dispel these dangerous myths. If you are a person living with albinism, you can share your own story.
While growing up, "some people treated me as less of a human being because they believed I had supernatural powers," Moses Swaray told Africa Renewal in an interview. Like many others living with albinism, Moses had been subject to persecution since he was a child due to superstitions about albinos. Having relocated to the US some years ago, he is now a highly sought-after gospel artist within the African diaspora community. Unlike Moses, many people with albinism living in Africa continue to be at risk. In Tanzania, some 75 albinos were reported killed between 2000 and 2016.
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.
Discrimination, violence and abuse of people with albinism is a major concern for all affected and society as a whole. On International Albinism Awareness Day in 2019, people with albinism came together to promote albinism awareness and commit to continue advocating for their rights.
Tanzania has witnessed a spate of brutal attacks and killings on people with albinism. The attacks are linked to myths and witchcraft. In a bid to protect this vulnerable group, the Tanzanian government has resolved to round up children with the condition in 13 centres throughout the country.
Connie Chiu was born in Hong Kong. The fourth child in a Chinese family, she is the only one born with albinism. Connie and her family moved to Sweden where she grew up studying arts and journalism. At the age of 24, she started her fashion modelling career by working with the French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. Now, Connie juggles modelling with her singing career; as a jazz singer she is invited to perform at major events, jazz clubs. See more videos of people living with albinism.