Albinos under siege in Malawi
It has emerged victims’ body parts are traded for use in witchcraft rituals, potions or amulets, with reported prices ranging from US$2 000 for a limb to $75 000 for a ‘complete set’ or corpse.
The horrific developments have prompted a United Nations expert to carry out a monitoring visit to the Southern African country, starting today (Monday), to assess the human rights situation of people with albinism.
“Attacks of persons with albinism and the sale of their body parts is one of the main focuses of my visit. Yet, I cannot separate these crimes from other relevant and contributing human rights issues faced by this group in the spheres of health, disability, education, harmful traditional practices, among others,” said UN expert, Ikponwosa Ero, ahead of the
She is tasked to report on developments and obstacles to enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, identify and promote good practices and combat stereotypes, prejudices, harmful traditional practices and beliefs that hinder the enjoyment of their human rights.
During her two-week visit, the human rights expert will travel to Kasungu Lilongwe, Machinga, Phalombe and Zomba, among other affected areas.
“I also give particular importance to meeting with persons with albinism as well as families affected by violations of the human rights of persons with albinism,” Ero added.
Albinism, a condition caused by lack of melanin in the skin, hair and eyes, is a non-contagious, genetically inherited condition affecting people worldwide.
In some areas it can affect as many as 1 in 70 people, although in general 1 in 5000 to 1 in 20,000 are affected by the condition.
Albinos are subjected to stigma and discrimination around the world.
This ranges from bullying at school to more extreme manifestations such as infanticide, physical threats and attacks.
– CAJ News
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