UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with Albinism, Albinism Activist

Ikponwosa Ero Nigeroa

I was born in Nigeria and I couldn’t walk the streets without being subjected to abuse and cruel remarks and songs for having albinism. I used to question why I had been born in the first place. My mother comforted me by assuring me that God made no mistakes and that I was perfect as I was.

Recalling my youth during a conference in Nairobi, I spoke of how often I was beaten in school, because I told the teachers that I could not see and the teachers thought I was lying. I got through school by getting another student to copy the exam questions from the chalkboard in exchange for the answers. I went on to become a lawyer in Canada and in 2015, the United Nations Expert on Albinism, a post I still hold to date. Albinism is a congenital order affecting up to 15 000 people in sub-Saharan Africa. My priority is to end the brutal attacks on people with albinism by assailants seeking to use their body parts in witchcraft related rituals.

I recently appeared at the appeared at the Pan African Parliament to outline the issues relating to the shortfalls of legislation in dealing with the trafficking of the body parts of persons with albinism. I have over a decade of experience in the research, policy development and practice of human rights concerning persons with albinism. I have advised persons and organisations around the world on human rights concerning people with albinism and have authored numerous papers and articles on the issue, including with regards to the categorisation of persons with albinism in the international human rights system.





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