Kenya: UN expert to assess human rights of persons with albinism

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UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ms Ikponwosa Ero. PHOTO/UN

By PATRICK MAYOYO

newsdesk@reporter.co.ke

The UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ms Ikponwosa Ero, will conduct an official visit to Kenya from 7 to 17 September 2018.

The purpose of Ms Ero’s mission is to identify good practices, challenges and potential gaps in human rights to be addressed.

“I will be assessing the legislative, policy and institutional framework, as well as specific measures in place to ensure the right to life and security for persons with albinism, while respecting their right to freedom of movement,” the expert stressed.

Ms Ero added that she will also pay specific attention to issues related to the right to health; focus on concerns and policies relating to the education of children with albinism, and will look at what is being done to address discrimination generally.

“I look forward to engaging with the authorities in Kenya, persons with albinism, the international community and others,” she noted.

During her 10-day visit, the Independent Expert will visit the capital, Nairobi, as well as Thika, Embu, Eldoret and Migori.

Ms Ero will share her preliminary findings at a news conference on the last day of the mission, on Monday 17 September 2018 at 11:00 local time, at the Hotel Inter-Continental (City Hall Way, Nairobi, Kenya), in the Conference Room. Access to the news conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Independent Expert will present a comprehensive report of her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2019.

Ms Ero (Nigeria) was designated in June 2015 as the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism by the Human Rights Council. Inspired by her experiences as a person with albinism, Ms Ero has, for more than a decade, been actively engaged in the research, policy development and practice of human rights concerning persons with albinism.

As international advocacy and legal officer of Under the Same Sun, an NGO with a focus on albinism, she has participated in multiple activities and panels at the UN in Geneva and New York.

She has extensive experience in research, policy development and advocacy in the field of albinism. She is the author of numerous papers and articles on the issue, including with regards to the categorization of people with albinism in the international human rights system.

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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