The campaign by Face Equality International (FEI) for face equality has becomes a global movement with the first International Face Equality Week beginning on 17 May 2019.
A week of awareness-raising events, media coverage and social media activity has begun to promote ‘Face Equality’ — the fair treatment of people with facial and body differences and the elimination of disfigurement discrimination. The 30 NGOs that are members of Face Equality International, the new alliance representing people with disfigurements, will be holding Face Equality Days in their own countries and regions. NGOs that are participating in the International Week include Smile Train, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and FACES in the US, the European Cleft Organisation, the Smile Foundation in South Africa and Changing Faces in the UK.
ECO is a founder member of FEI which aims to improve the life prospects of any person anywhere in the world who has a facial difference or disfigurement, an unusual-looking, scarred or asymmetrical face (or body) from any cause.
The mission of FEI, founded by James Partridge OBE, is to mobilise the many groups and organisations, big and small, national and international, which support and represent people with facial and other differences and thereby to create the critical mass and solidarity needed to gain global attention for the campaign for face equality.
FEI will raise the profile of disfigurement and put the issues people with disfigurements experience on the agenda of the UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), international bodies, companies and social media outlets.
Face Equality International is an alliance of NGOs/charities around the world that are supporting and representing people with many different disfigurements. Most of these NGOs are condition-specific (ie: for people with clefts, burns, craniofacial conditions, psoriasis and other conditions) and their members have very different medical and surgical needs and treatments. But their members face very similar psychological, cultural and social barriers to living fulfilling lives.