The Uganda Albino Association has welcomed the UN call for their protection. On Thursday last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council called on all member states to take all measures necessary to protect people with albinism.
Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment in the skin, hair and or eyes. In a resolution adopted without a vote in Geneva on Thursday, the Council strongly condemned attacks on people with albinism and urged states to ensure accountability for the perpetrators.
The resolution says there must be impartial, speedy and effective investigations into such attacks and victims and family members must have access to appropriate remedies.
The motion to protect people with Albinism was moved by Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella of Gabon on behalf of the African Group. He said it created a precedent for the UN Human Rights Council to address the issue that affects several countries.
Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella explains that the resolution is guided by the objectives, principles and provisions of the United Nations Charter as well as other relevant instruments with respect to human rights for the African Group to have this issue because of the great discrimination, stigmatization even exclusion that victimizes persons with albinism, including women and children sometimes affecting their right to health, education, security freedom and, more seriously, their right to life.
Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella says the African Group believes that stronger efforts by the international community are required to protect all the human rights of people with albinism. Speaking to the media in an exclusive interview, Jude Sebyanzi, chairperson of Uganda Albino Association described the UN resolution as a big milestone in the fight against discrimination of people with albinism. Sebyanzi who could not hide his joy said his advocacy had paid off. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics – UBOS 2002 it’s estimated there are 250,000 Albinos in the country.
Sebyanzi explain that he teamed up with three others to start Uganda Albino Association after they suffered discrimination based on their skin color. Currently, there are 1500 members in the association. He claims that many parents refuse to pay school fees for their children with albinism claiming that there will be no result when they complete school. Sebyanzi wants government to initiate a policy to ensure that Albinos are employed big organizations like Bank of Uganda.
Sebyanzi believes that with the UN call to protect them, government will be in position to buy them sunscreens and a special tube used to protect their skin from the effect of the sun.