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Media Center > Press Releases > UN EXPERT, A-G ADDRESS RIGHTS FOR THOSE WITH ALBINISM-RELATED DISABILITIES

UN EXPERT, A-G ADDRESS RIGHTS FOR THOSE WITH ALBINISM-RELATED DISABILITIES

12/5/2017
The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has set out Fiji's vision for supporting Fijians affected with albinism at a meeting in Suva with Ms. Ikponwasa Ero, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Persons with Albinism, on 29 November 2017. At the meeting, they discussed the complexities of albinism, the unique obstacles that are faced by Fijians living with the condition, and solutions to ease their integration into Fijian society.

The Attorney-General said that the Fijian Government looks forward to working with the office the Independent Expert to ensure progressive realisation of rights of persons with albinism and disabilities.

In their discussions, the Attorney-General also highlighted Fiji’s recently ratified Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He distinguished that albinism in itself is not considered as a disability in the same vein as a physical difference, such as a spinal injury.

Instead, he noted that the condition often, but not always, manifests itself concurrently in the form of another disability, such as visual impairment. Ms. Ero added that persons with albinism are also usually sensitive to sunlight, and are thereby more prone to skin cancer, which can pose a particular risk in tropical climates like Fiji.

"Fiji strives to set a bold example in inclusive development by ingraining equal opportunity into our economic growth, and that means making special efforts to provide Fijians affected with albinism with the support ad resources they need to fully participate in our national life,” said Sayed-Khayum.

“In the 2016-2017 National Budget, the Fijian Government has given greater incentives for employers to hire people with disabilities, including Fijians with albinism, by extending the Employment Taxation Scheme to include employment of disabled people for a period of 3 years with a 300 percent tax deduction. And at the 19th Attorney-General's Conference, for the first time, we will hold a panel on albinism and disability rights, aptly titled ‘See the Able, Not the Label,’ to advance thought leadership on this important issue.”

Ms. Ero concludes her mission in Fiji on 5 December 2017, and will subsequently speak at the 19th Attorney-General’s Conference on 8 December 2017 as a distinguished member of the panel, “See the Able not the Label (Albinism and Disability Rights).”

Those interested in registering for the Conference can visit http://www.ag.gov.fj/docs/Registration%20Form%202017.pdf, or find a full programme of events at http://www.ag.gov.fj/docs/Programme2017-281117.pdf

-ENDS-
 
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