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Separate Data For Persons With Albinism Under Census: Expert

  The United Nations Independent Expert on Albinism, Ikponwosa Ero has suggested that the data on persons with albinism should be a part of the census. While making recommendations to
09 Dec 2017 10:00
Separate Data For Persons With Albinism Under Census: Expert
UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights with persons with albinism Ikponwosa Ero. Photo: Wati Talebula

 

The United Nations Independent Expert on Albinism, Ikponwosa Ero has suggested that the data on persons with albinism should be a part of the census.

While making recommendations to the Government based on her findings in the country, Ms Ero said: “Generally on this issue I find that the Government was very honest about this issue. I do not have any data so I cannot tell you the number of persons with albinism in Fiji.” Additionally, she said the census missed the opportunity to count despite having a section for disability.

“It is important to have an indicator that says albinism so that you can address not only the vision impairment, but also the skin issue so this is a problem.”

She has therefore urged the authorities through relevant governmental agencies and academic institutions, to embark on a systematic collection of information, covering all regions, and to include this in its entire database.

Ms Ero will be elaborating more on her findings on albinism in Fiji and her recommendations in a detailed report in Geneva, at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council in March next year.

She was invited by Government to assess the human rights situation of people with albinism and to identify good practices and remaining challenges.

In brief, Ms Ero, through her findings also suggested that there was a need to strengthen awareness and understanding nationwide on albinism.

“These positive developments offer multiple opportunities for ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, in the light of their specific needs,” she said.

“I am convinced that my interaction with both Government and non-governmental representatives on the situation of persons with albinism have sparked a process of introspection and realisation of the need to bring this group of Fijian society “out of the shadow” of obscurity and private suffering and into national consciousness.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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