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Africa challenged to end killing of albinos

Story from: CAJ News Africa

AlbinoFrom MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – AFRICAN governments have been urged to fully
implement a regional action plan on ending attacks on people with
albinism.
The plan includes 15 steps expected to address the persisting and deadly attacks on these disadvantaged members of the community.
United Nations independent expert on human rights of persons with
albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, said the plan set out what states can do,
including educating the public, collecting data and researching the root causes of the violence.
The action plan also focuses on ensuring accountability as well as support for victims and uses legal and policy frameworks to deter practices of witchcraft and trafficking in body parts.
“International cooperation will be a turning point in the long battle to end discrimination for people with albinism, some of whom continue to be murdered for their body parts,” Ero said.
Ero underscored that people with albinism also faced significant barriers restricting their equal participation in society, impacting their rights to enjoy physical and mental health and their ability to access adequate health care, education, social services, legal protection and redress for abuses.
In particular, women and children face violence, suffer discrimination,
stigma and social exclusion and are marginalised within their communities.
Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
In some African countries, there has been an unprecedented rise in
witchcraft-related killings of people with albinism in recent years,
because their body parts are used in potions sold by witchdoctors.
In 2014, the UN General Assembly designated June 13 as the International Albinism Awareness Day to draw attention to the stigma and violence against people with albinism.
CAJ News

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