STATEMENT BY THE SADC EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, H.E. DR STERGOMENA LAWRENCE TAX ON INTERNATIONAL ALBINISM AWARENESS DAY 2019.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) joins the international community in commemorating the International Albinism Awareness Day on 13th June, 2019. This day was set aside following a resolution adopted by the United Nations' General Assembly on 18thDecember 2014.

According to the United Nations, this year's theme: Still Standing Strong was chosen to recognize, celebrate and stand in solidarity with persons with Albinism around the world, and to support their cause, from their accomplishments and positive practices to the promotion and protection of their human rights.

As we commemorate the day, SADC reiterates its unwavering commitment to stand in solidarity with persons with Albinism around the world. We recognise that persons with Albinism continue to face violations of their human rights in various forms, ranging from stigma and discrimination, low access to health and education services, as well as, social and political exclusion. It is for this reason that SADC continues to condemn, in the strongest terms, all forms of violations and abuse against persons living with Albinism.

We also applaud the courageous spirit that people with Albinism have demonstrated in the face of numerous challenges. We note, with contentment that, despite the numerous challenges that persons with Albinism face, they have remained positive and are STILL STANDING STRONG.

On this International Albinism Awareness Day, SADC joins the call for the continued need to educate the public on issues affecting people with Albinism, to mobilize political will to address the problems they face, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. We call upon all communities to ensure the protection and upholding of the rights of persons with Albinism and for communities to help bring to an end, all forms of attacks and discrimination against them.

Source: Southern African Development Community (SADC)