Face Equality International

Current Focus

Face Equality International is an alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), charities and support groups which are working at national, regional or international levels to promote the campaign for ‘face equality’.

What we’re working on 

In addition to our annual campaign, Face Equality Week, our current focus is dedicated to a series of projects which aim to tackle specific issues for the facial difference community. If you would like to support us financially with any of the below, please follow this link to donate. Thank you so much! 

Current Focus One: Disfigurement as an Independent Equality and Human Rights Issue

Discrimination and indignities are a daily occurrence for the facial difference community. This is a hidden community that has continued to be marginalised, abused and neglected, throughout history. To this day we do not believe the injustice experienced by this unique community has been adequately recognised or addressed by global society.   

Legal recognition of disfigurement is limited to disability laws. Our research indicates that existing disability-specific laws are failing the facial and visible difference community on several levels, largely due to facial differences not being universally regarded as a disability and because the barriers experienced by someone with a facial difference are largely attitudinal rather than physical.  

This is why we as an Alliance our current focus is on repositioning facial difference, both legally and socially, in an effort to validate the unique experiences of this particular community. Some living with a facial difference will also qualify and identify as disabled, along with any other marginalised characteristic. We believe all of these aspects are worthy of independent recognition and protections that recognise the unique prejudices experienced by individual and intersecting identities.     

It is our long-term ambition to create a space for facial difference to be recognised as an independent equality and human rights issue, because the root of the discrimination, abuse and stigma experienced by the global facial difference community must be effectively addressed.      

However, until this has been achieved, we must utilise, strengthen, and raise awareness of any existing laws that might offer protection, and so we will continue to ensure people with facial differences are aware of existing laws that may be disability-related.   

For this reason, we are launching a series of legal fact-sheets as part of IFEW 2022, to help people with facial difference to know their rights. It is our aim to break down and explain in understandable terms, the equality laws of the UK, USA, Europe and also the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.    

How FEI is making a difference:  

Current Focus Two: Gathering research to reflect the extent of the injustice and stigma experienced by people with disfigurements 

There is a stark lack of data on the experiences of those with disfigurements. We know from limited research in this area, that in many countries babies with facial differences are abandoned at birth, children are banned from school and people are forced to hide away from society as a result of their facial difference, but extensive research is needed to fully understand these issues. 

It is essential that our current focus is on understanding the diverse nature of the global experience, in order to truly serve the global facial difference community.  

How FEI is making a difference: 

Current Focus Three: Empowering the facial difference community to advocate for face equality  

There are millions of people worldwide who are currently unaware of the face equality movement and how the strength of the community could help them to make the change in society that they wish to see. We are making it our mission, as part of our current focus to reach these people, and to give them the tools they need to make face equality a reality.

How FEI is making a difference: 


Photograph courtesy of Changing Faces
Face Equality Reading List

A selection of books and reading material from authors with lived experience, or who have a loved one with a facial or visible difference.

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    The mission of Face Equality International (FEI) is to mobilise the many groups and organisations, big and small, national and international, which support and represent people with facial differences and disfigurements and thereby to create the critical mass and solidarity needed to gain global attention for the campaign for face equality.

    About FEI

    Face Equality Reading List

    A selection of books and reading material from authors with lived experience, or who have a loved one with a facial or visible difference.

    Read More

    Never to be Hidden Again

    When I didn’t want to deal with pointed fingers or questioning looks while out in public, I could just let down my shield of long hair to cover as much of it as I needed. Now that’s not an option.

    Read More

    Hidden From View: Women With Facial Differences in the Media

    To advance equality, we must stop fearing our differences, recognize our conscious and unconscious biases, and shift our focus to our unique strengths and talents. End the worn-out tropes and stereotypes and normalize disfigurement.

    Read More