Lesoto, Sunday Express, Inglês



Letsatsi Selikoe 

INTERNATIONAL expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond, will be in the country from April 10-19, 2024. 

Ms Miti-Drummond’s visit to Lesotho is courtesy of the Ministry of Justice and Law. 

The ministry has invited her to raise awareness on the challenges faced by people with albinism, and promoting their equal participation in society. 

The expert will meet with government officials, civil society organizations, tertiary institutions and members of the public to discuss strategies on protecting and promoting the rights of people with albinism. 

As part of her mandate, Ms Miti-Drummond will identify and promote good practices relating to the realization of human rights for people with albinism, and their equal participation in society. 

During her visit, Miti-Drummond will assess the human rights situation of persons with albinism, with a focus primarily on access to health, education and employment. 

The expert will hold meetings in Maseru and Thaba-Tseka, as well as participate in the 43rd Ordinary Session of the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The conference has reserved the 17th of April as a day of general discussion on the solutions to challenges of children with albinism. 

Albinism whose scientific name is achromasia, is a group of inherited disorders characterised by little or no melanin production. This condition increases the risk of skin cancer. 

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited difference present at birth. In almost all types of albinism, both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on, even if they do not have albinism themselves. 

Its frequency worldwide is estimated to be approximately one in 17,000. Prevalence of the different forms of albinism varies considerably by population, and is highest overall in people of sub-Saharan African descent. 

The condition is found in both sexes regardless of ethnicity and in all countries of the world. Albinism results in a lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light. 

Most people with albinism have pale skin, eye conditions and are sensitive to the sun. No cure exists, but skin can be protected and eye conditions can be treated. 

As a result, almost all people with albinism are visually impaired and are prone to developing skin cancer. There is no cure for the absence of melanin that is central to albinism. 

Ms Miti-Drummond will also work to raise awareness and understanding of albinism, and address misconceptions and stigma associated with the condition. 

Her?mandate is to promote and report on the development and challenges related to the realization of human rights for people with albinism. 

She will also provide technical assistance, advisory services, and capacity building to support national efforts to protect and promote the rights of people with albinism. 

According to Ministry of Justice and Law press statement, Ms Miti-Hummond’s visit is aimed at ensuring that? that people with albinism have equal access to opportunities and services, and are treated with dignity and respect. 

She will also work to raise awareness about the rights of people with albinism, in order to combat stereotypes, prejudice, and traditional practices and beliefs that hinder their enjoyment of human rights, the press release stated. 

The aim, it added, is to promote respect for the dignity and diversity of people with albinism, and to ensure that they are able to live their lives without discrimination. 

The expert will “further work to create an enabling environment for the full enjoyment of human rights and the full and equal participation of people with albinism in society”. 

“This will include working to address poverty and the lack of access to education, employment, and health care that can prevent people with albinism from fully participating in society,” the statement said. 

“The expert will also promote access to information and communication technologies, as well as access to justice for people with albinism.” 




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