International Albinism Awareness Day

Quick Facts - NZ

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2024 Date13 June 2024
2025 Date13 June 2025

International Albinism Awareness Day

International Albinism Awareness Day in
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International Albinism Awareness Day History

International Albinism Awareness Day is a global event that aims to increase understanding and compassion for individuals with albinism. This day is dedicated to promoting a greater awareness of the challenges faced by people with albinism, fostering a positive and inclusive environment, and debunking misconceptions associated with the condition. It is a valuable opportunity to share accurate information about albinism, raise awareness about the discrimination that these individuals may face, and celebrate their achievements and contributions to society.

This important observance was first recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 with the intention of addressing the myriad of issues faced by people living with albinism globally. While albinism is rare in many parts of the world, it affects an estimated 1,000 individuals in New Zealand. International Albinism Awareness Day provides an essential platform for New Zealanders to better understand and empathize with their fellow citizens living with albinism. Recognizing this day highlights the importance of inclusivity, and helps to ensure that persons with albinism receive equal treatment and opportunities within the New Zealand community.

While there are no specific traditions associated with International Albinism Awareness Day in New Zealand, it is typically a day for people to come together and learn about the condition through various educational activities, events, and social media campaigns. There may also be a show of support and solidarity by wearing a specific colour or symbol associated with albinism awareness. International Albinism Awareness Day is observed annually on June 13th in New Zealand, and around the world, to coincide with the United Nations' designation of the day.

International Albinism Awareness Day facts

  • It is estimated that about 1 in 17,000 people worldwide has some form of albinism.
  • Albinism is often associated with various visual impairments, such as nystagmus (involuntary eye movements), strabismus (crossed or misaligned eyes), and photophobia (sensitivity to light).
  • Albinism is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment responsible for coloring the skin, hair, and eyes. It is typically inherited when both parents carry the gene mutation.
  • Albinism is a rare genetic condition that affects approximately 1 in every 17,000 people in New Zealand. It is caused by a lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes, resulting in a range of issues such as reduced vision, sensitivity to sunlight, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
  • New Zealand organizations support global advocacy efforts for the protection and welfare of people living with albinism worldwide, particularly in countries like Tanzania, where they are at a higher risk of violence and persecution due to beliefs in witchcraft.

Top things to do in NZ for this observance

  • Register for the virtual choir hosted by National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation.
  • Explore a reading list that can help educate and spark conversation about albinism.
  • Watch the documentary Black Robin: Albinism in New Zealand (2016). This documentary focuses on the unique challenges faced by people with albinism in New Zealand.
  • Donate or volunteer your time to local organizations that support people with albinism, such as the New Zealand Organization for Albinism or other disability-focused charities. This can help provide funding for research, resources, and support for people with albinism.

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