14 March 2019
NTUK joins up with Facial Equality International's Alliance:
On Tuesday 12th March 2019, Nerve Tumours UK attended the first global Face Equality International (FEI) Forum in central London. Representatives of 19 NGOs and charities have travelled from around the world to take part — to discuss how best to promote face equality and stamp out disfigurement discrimination wherever it happens.
The FEI Forum in session
The delegations include leaders of the nine ‘founding NGOs’ such as the Sunshine Welfare Foundation in Taiwan, Smile Train, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and FACES in the US, the European Cleft Organisation in the Netherlands, the Smile Foundation in South Africa and Changing Faces in the UK. Nerve Tumours UK joined Face Equality International since it was launched just four months ago.
Face Equality International is the brainchild of Dr James Partridge OBE, the founder and former CEO of the UK charity Changing Faces. He says that disfigurement is a neglected global human rights issue:
“Wherever they live in the world, people with disfigurements — whether from cleft lips and palates, birthmarks, burns, acid violence, facial paralysis like Bell’s palsy, skin conditions such as psoriasis and vitiligo or after facial cancer — have to deal with many psychological, social and economic challenges in living confident, successful lives in the 21st century.”
Karen Cockburn, NTUK Charity Director said: “We are staunch believers in equal rights and opportunities for all. We welcome input from all external organisations, teams and supporters and are proud to co-operate on these matters with Face Equality International.”
“We joined this much-needed alliance because people with facial differences live in a world that many of us wouldn’t recognize – they face judgement and discrimination based on their appearance. It’s vital that we work together to fight this bias. Nerve tumours can be uncompromising, painful and punishing without the right support network. As long as the condition is around, we will strive to provide better and more targeted support.”
Face Equality International will challenge such unfairness and discrimination by mobilising NGOs around the world and sharing the lessons of how to advocate for face equality effectively — such as awareness-raising initiatives with teachers, culture and business people, and ripostes to everyday incidents of facial prejudice in the media. The alliance will also campaign for people with disfigurements around the world to be properly protected by law from facial discrimination in workplaces, on social media, in schools or public places.
We are staunch believers in equal rights and opportunities for all. We welcome input from all external organisations, teams and supporters and are proud to co-operate on these matters with Face Equality International.