17th December 04:15 AM
UN Albino activist in the country to discuss issues relating to people with albinism
By Lena Reece
Thursday 07/12/2017
Ikoponwosa Ero

A society is judged not by what it does for the many but for what it does for those who are marginalised.

This was stressed by Ikponwosa Ero who is the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism at a press conference this morning.

The Independent Expert, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, investigates all rights violations against people with albinism in different countries. 

Ero says the appointment came about when there were extreme violations against people with albinism in 28 countries.

She adds that the mandate has also created the opportunity to collect data from all countries with regards to what is happening with persons with albinism both good and bad and a great opportunity for Fiji to pay attention to its people with albinism. 

Ero says that the discussion of issues relating to people with albinism in Fiji is relatively new.

She revealed that there is no data in Fiji to show the many people with albinism and the recent census also missed the opportunity to count the people with albinism in Fiji.

The Independent Expert also stressed that the absence of data on albinism is a cause to continue people’s invisibility and worsens their vulnerability.

Ero highlighted the significant lack of specialized medical services and personnel to ensure that skin cancer risk and vision impairment emanating from albinism are spotted and treated early.

She has also called for the training of health staff with Fiji having only one qualified Dermatologist and has strongly encouraged the government to prioritize sustainable funding for all necessary interventions to safeguard people with albinism at home, in school and in the workplace.

During her mission to Fiji, Ero met high-level officials, civil society organizations and people with albinism in Suva and district in Nadi and Rakiraki. 

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