Explanation of Position by the United States of America
Human Rights Council, 37th Session
Geneva, March 22, 2018
Thank you Mr. President.
We appreciate the efforts of Sierra Leone and the African Group to call attention to the ongoing human rights violations and abuses that persons with albinism suffer. The Independent Expert’s report details the horrific violence faced by persons with Albinism.
We believe States must take effective measures to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, including those with albinism, and that perpetrators of violence should be effectively prosecuted. Future discussions on how to prevent attacks against persons with albinism can be greatly informed by examining the root causes of discrimination.
We note the relevance of international instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in addressing issues of stigma and violence, including against persons with albinism and indeed all persons with disabilities. In that regard, we are pleased this resolution underscores that persons with albinism have the same human rights as all other persons. In particular, we note that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.
We reiterate our concerns about the necessity of this mandate and our position that resources could be better spent by mainstreaming attention to the situation of persons with albinism into the work of other related mandate holders addressing relevant thematic issues, including but not limited to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is regrettable that this resolution continues to lack a sunset clause.
We also have concerns about the language referring to certain groups as ‘the furthest behind,’ as there is no international consensus on this matter. This resolution strays from language in the preamble of the 2030 Agenda and runs the risk of conflating development and human rights.
Other concerns regarding this resolution, including the additional discussion of the Sustainable Development Goals, will be addressed in the United States’ general statement delivered at the end of Item 3.