2nd Session, 41st Parliament,

Volume 149, Issue 152

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Honourable Leo Housakos, Speaker

Rights of Persons with Albinism

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I also rise today to speak about albinism, as some of our colleagues have already done.

As you are aware, I’m a proud East African. When I was in school as a child in Uganda, I grew up noticing the stigma some of my schoolmates faced because they had albinism. At my school, we were taught very early what albinism is. As you are aware, albinism is a genetic condition. It manifests as a partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.

The struggles people with albinism face in Africa are atrocious. Largely, they are faced with these struggles because there is an educational deficit. I urge this chamber to reach out to our African parliamentary colleagues. We can reach out to them and urge them to improve the education around albinism.

Honourable senators, I ask you to be committed to educating our political colleagues from East Africa. We all belong to many parliamentary associations, so I ask that we Canadian senators be instrumental in educating parliamentarians to help them stop the persecution of children with albinism.

Local governments cannot headline education initiatives unless they, too, are educated on this issue.

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We have the resources, we have the medical information and we have the communication lines with our parliamentary colleagues in Africa.

Let us step up and play a role in raising the education level on albinism. Let us parliamentarians and senators, in particular, help put an end to this senseless killing. Let us act now and help educate our fellow parliamentarians.

 

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