We are all created to shine in our own ways, and just as we are different from one another in nature, our outer appearance too is not the same. We could be white, brown, black or any other shade, but in the end we are all still just humans. As International Albinism Awareness Day 2020 approaches, we take a look at the history, significance of the day and the theme for this year. Also Read - International Picnic Day 2020: No Picnic Because of COVID-19? Have One in Your Backyard Instead

Where albinism is concerned, it is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited difference present at birth. The condition is prevalent in both the sexes regardless of ethnicity, and in all countries of the world. It results from the lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin and eyes, and it can make a person vulnerable to the Sun and bright light. Also Read - Know The Connection Between International Men's Health Week And Father's Day

Background of International Albinism Awareness Day:

In the mid-2000s, there had been reports of violent attacks on and murders of people with albinism in Tanzania. The attacks were linked to beliefs that people with albinism had magical powers, so they were preyed upon for parts to be used as lucky charms and in occult rituals. When in 2015 around 70 were killed and many more were harmed, the Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) and other NGOs lobbied for the rights of people with albinism. This led to the celebration of the first Albino Day on May 4, 2006.

A resolution came about when the Human Rights Council on June 13, 2013 adopted the first resolution ever on albinism. In its resolution 26/10 of June 26, 2014 the Human Rights Council recommended June 13 to be marked as International Albinism Awareness Day. The day was finally made official when the UN’s General Assembly adopted on December 18, 2014 a resolution that proclaimed June 13 as International Albinism Awareness Day with effect from 2015.

Significance of International Albinism Awareness Day:

The day is celebrated annually on June 13 to bring about awareness among the people about albinism and the human rights of people with albinism. Each year events are held to educate people and celebrate people with albinism who continue to suffer all types of human rights violations.

Theme of International Albinism Awareness Day:

The theme for this year is ‘Made To Shine’ and the reason for it is to celebrate the achievements and successes of people with albinism worldwide. It is also a call to stand in solidarity with people with albinism through their challenges.