A United Nations human rights expert has made this conclusion after an official visit to the country which has one of the highest estimated rates of albinism in the world.
UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism Ikponwosa Ero said Fiji had the ideal opportunity to put the needs of people with albinism high on the national agenda, having ratified the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in June and with a draft bill on people with disabilities currently going through Parliament.
“Misconceptions and misunderstandings about people with albinism alongside deeply entrenched traditional and customary beliefs could explain the persistence of discrimination, stigmatization and isolation of people with albinism in Fiji.”
However, she said discrimination could also result from the perception that people with albinism should not be treated differently from other people.
“The prevailing conception of ‘sameness often fails to recognize that people with albinism often require specific measures and reasonable accommodation to achieve substantive equality with others.”
Discussions have also been held with government on the report.