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Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

Press Statement: Nairobi, Tuesday June 13th, 2023 For Immediate Release:


  1. On December 18th, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing June 13th as the International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD).1This historic resolution affirmed the global focus on albinism - an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair and/or eyes.2
  1. Today, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) joins all Kenyans, and indeed the whole world in encouraging everyone to celebrate and promote albinism awareness and ensure protection of the rights of children and adults with albinism.
  1. This year’s theme is Inclusion is Strength, and builds on from last years’ theme of ensuring the inclusion of the voices of persons with albinism in all spheres of life. It emphasizes the importance of inclusion of a diversity of groups from both within and outside the albinism community.
  1. The 2023 theme highlights the importance and benefits of including a broad spectrum of persons with albinism in albinism-related discussions, including youth, women, children, older persons and persons with albinism of all races and ethnic backgrounds; collaborating and embracing albinism within the disability movement, and in other sectors where decisions affect persons with albinism; and seeking synergies with human rights groups and other groups from outside the albinism movement.

1 https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N14/707/31/PDF/N1470731.pdf?OpenElement

2 United Nations: International Albinism Awareness Day 13 June available at https://www.un.org/en/observances/albinism- day#:~:text=The%20United%20Nations%20Human%20Rights,discrimination%20against%20persons%20with%20albinism.


  1. The Commission notes progress made by Kenya in collection of data on albinism, including in the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census when the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), in a first in Kenya’s history of censuses, included a specific indicium for albinism as a disability domain. The census revealed that there are 9,729 persons with albinism in Kenya.
  1. Equally promising is the increasing involvement of persons with albinism in public affairs including the election into office in the August 9, 2022 polls of Hon. Martin Wanyonyi as Webuye East Member of Parliament (MP), and appointment of former Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura as Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.
  1. A study conducted by the KNCHR in 2022 revealed that pervasive myths and misconceptions about albinism still persist. This misunderstanding and misconceived notion continues to relegate persons with albinism in a vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion. The study established that the major concerns for laws and policies that touch on persons with albinism revolve around the following five key areas: right to life, health, education, economic empowerment and access to justice and legal remedy.3
  1. The Commission celebrates and welcomes the milestone in the development of Kenya National Action Plan on Albinism 2023-2028, spearheaded by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) in partnership with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights working in concert with organizations of and for persons with albinism and persons with albinism. This Action Plan mirrors the Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa 2017-2021 and now, the African Union Plan of Action to End Attacks and Other Human Rights Violations Targeting Persons with Albinism in Africa (2021-2031) and its Implementation Matrix.4 The Commission urges for acceleration of its adoption and implementation.
  1. The Commission further welcomes the Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2023 that recognizes albinism as a domain of disability, and calls for its expeditious enactment into law by Parliament.

3 The study report titled Mapping Laws, Policies and Programmes on Albinism and Existing Gaps will be launched on June 13, 2023 to coincide with the IAAD celebrations. Soft copies of the book can be accessed on the KNCHR website https://www.knchr.org/

4 African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (2023) Available at https://www.achpr.org/index.php?url=sessions/resolutions&id=415#:~:text=373(LX)2017,Peoples'%20Rights%20( African%20Charter)%3B

5 The Bill is available at https://www.parliament.go.ke/sites/default/files/2023- 03/The%20Persons%20with%20Disabilities%20Bill%2C%202023.pdf

  1. To this end, the Commission calls for inclusion of persons with albinism in socio-economic, cultural and political spheres of the Kenyan life, and makes the following recommendations:
  • That the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Labor and Social Protection expedite the adoption and implementation of the Kenya National Action Plan on Albinism 2023-2028;
  • That Government implements recommendations made to Kenya by the former United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism Ikponwosa Ero upon her visit to Kenya in 20196;
  • That Government establishes a taskforce on albinism and designates a Special Advisor on Albinism in Kenya;
  • That in line with the constitutional provision that at least 5% of all members of elective and appointive bodies progressively be persons with disabilities, and persons with albinism be equally considered based on merit;
  • That the National Albinism Sunscreen Support Programme (NASSP) implemented by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) be allocated enough resources;
  • That the Ministry of Education, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), schools and technical institutions work at sensitization on the albinism condition and provision of reasonable accommodation to enable learners and trainees with albinism to participate equally in learning, training and examinations in an inclusive environment.
  • That to reduce stigma and discrimination, both State and non-State actors re-double efforts in awareness creation campaigns on albinism as a form of disability; and
  • That the law enforcement agencies deter, investigate and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual attacks targeting persons with albinism in Kenya.


  1. In conclusion, as the State’s principal human rights agency, the Commission remains committed to promoting and protecting the rights of persons with albinism in Kenya through partnership with the various duty bearers, receiving complaints and conducting investigations, public awareness creation, evidence-based research, strategic public interest litigation and reporting under international treaties such as; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


Roseline DA Odede


Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

6 Report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism available at https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/364/80/PDF/G1736480.pdf?

Categories: Press Statements
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