WJC statement at UNHRC's 43rd session in Geneva: Discrimination against individuals with albinism

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WJC statement at UNHRC's 43rd session in Geneva: Discrimination against individuals with albinism

WJC representative delivering the statement: Ms. Elizaveta Zaidman 
 

Thank you, Madam President.

The World Jewish Congress condemns, and is committed to combating, all forms of discrimination and stigmatization of minorities, including, but not limited to one’s religious beliefs, political convictions, sexual orientation, skin color and / or pigmentation.  

As Independent Expert Eko has so poignantly highlighted, individuals with albinism are often subjected to severe forms of systemic persecution and discrimination, particularly in some nations in Africa, where they are accused of supernatural powers and behaviors, such as witchcraft. 

Due to these widespread cultural myths, these individuals face acute forms of marginalization, ranging from social exclusion to physical and sexual violence, bullying, and even ritual killing, and yet, their plight remains unrecognized by many institutions and organizations worldwide. 

As mentioned by Independent Expert Eko, individuals with albinism are also branded with discriminatory names, reinforcing the stereotypes and negative connotations which perpetuate the hatred against them.  As the representative body of Jewish communities worldwide, we know first-hand the kind of horrors and tragedies that can unravel when such systemic hatred is left unbridled. 

The World Jewish Congress would like to ask the Independent Expert what role faith-based groups can play in combating this discrimination and ensuring that full human and civil rights can be enjoyed by all, without exception.

Thank you.

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