Ikponwosa Ero (I.K.) was designated as the first United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism in June of 2015. During her six years on the mandate, she initiated movements in various sectors and collaborated with stakeholders in areas of policy, research, healthcare, NGOs and grassroots organizations. She engaged with NGOs and activists working on the frontline with persons with albinism to secure their human rights. Each year she orchestrated many events, campaigns, and workshops that raised awareness and addressed concerns relating to albinism. I.K. recognized from the beginning the need to have strong evidence to support the mandate, and we are grateful to be part of this.
Despite the limitations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic during the last 18 months of her mandate, her perseverance and dedication enabled her to continue influencing political, government, and social change. During her 6-year mandate, she produced 21 United Nations Human Rights Council reports on albinism. Included in this was her vital contribution to the development of the Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa (2017-2021). I.K’s invaluable work actuated change at micro, meso, and macro levels, building the foundation towards ensuring that every person with albinism enjoys full access to their human rights.
Through her work on the mandate, I.K. heightened global awareness and initiated action on addressing attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism, particularly related to harmful practices. The many accomplishments and successes of this early work are outlined in her last report, found here. I.K. has worked closely with persons with albinism to bring their voices forward, connecting people globally to collaborate in pursuit of the common cause: to raise the voice of persons with albinism and ensure full access to their human rights. I.K. has the ability to inspire and motivate others to join this cause. While her time as an Independent Expert has come to a close, her advocacy for persons with albinism will continue. I.K., we look forward to celebrating you and the adventures ahead.
We look forward to supporting the newly appointed Independent Expert on this mandate, Ms. Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond!
Blog written by Meghann Buyco, Graduate Research Assistant