Sightsavers campaign ambassador inspires Netflix film about albinism

September 2023

A Sightsavers Equal World campaign ambassador is the inspiration behind a new Netflix film, called ‘Can You See Us?’

The film is based on the life story of John Chiti, a Zambian albinism rights campaigner, musician and police commissioner. Chiti is Sightsavers’ ambassador for the African Disability Protocol (ADP) campaign, which is part of the wider Equal World campaign that fights for disability rights.

‘Can You See Us?’ tells the story of a young boy living with albinism and the many hurdles he faces due to discrimination. Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition that most commonly results in a lack of melanin pigment in the hair, skin and eyes.

In Zambia and throughout Africa, people with albinism face high levels of social alienation and stigma. In many countries, including Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, they’re also at risk of murder and mutilation, as traditions around witchcraft place a high value on their body parts. Chiti hopes the film will help raise awareness about albinism discrimination and the need for African governments to take action to enact the ADP.

The ADP is a human rights treaty that addresses forms of discrimination that particularly affect people with disabilities living in African countries, including harmful practices, beliefs and superstitions. It is the only international human rights instrument that expressly recognises the challenges faced by people with albinism.

Zambia is one of 12 countries where Sightsavers’ Equal World campaign is mobilising national partners, including organisations of people with disabilities, to call on their governments to ratify the ADP. In total, 15 ratifications are needed for the legislation to become law across the African continent, and eight countries have already taken this step.

Join our Equal World campaign to support our call for disability rights to be upheld worldwide.

You can watch the official trailer for ‘Can You See Us?’ below.

John Chiti smiles while wearing sunglasses.
‘Can You See Us?’ is based on John Chiti’s life and the challenges he’s faced as a person with albinism.

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