Dealing with albinism in Samoa

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Clarence Sebastian Leota with a friend.

Clarence Sebastian Leota with a friend.

As the various international and regional organisations celebrate International Albinism day 2016 –people with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically.

The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.

In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world. 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 organizations 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.

Faaofo Junior Leota(C.S.F. vice chairperson) and Sefulu Patu(Executive office)   and the Clarence Sebastian Foundation acknowledge international albinism day and hope that Samoa will continue to support and  promote the work of C.S.F. in promoting advocacy and awareness of issues pertaining to albinism.

The beginning of this month will see the C.S.F. holding workshops for stakeholders and schools. Activities will culminate with a Fiafia/dance at J.P. Bar Vaimea on the 16th of November  2016.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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