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Persecution chases Tanzania albino kids out of home

Story from: CAJ News Africa

albinoFrom ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
DAR-ES-SALAAM, (CAJ News) – RURAL schoolchildren living with albinism in Tanzania are abandoning their homes and seeking refuge in school-based protection centres.
The exodus confirmed by the United Nations comes in the wake of violence against albinos.Ikponwosa Ero, the voluntary UN independent expert on the enjoyment of human rights by people with albinism, confirmed the trend.
She said despite protective intentions in referring children with albinism to shelters, it appeared the facilities were no longer temporary.
Ero said students who go on to secondary school or college have no choice other than to return to the shelters during school holidays.
“They are simply too afraid to go back to their own homes,” the expert said.Ero, during her just-concluded mission to the East African country, received similar reports concerning primary school children boarding at the shelters.
Overall, Ero said government must promote more work to educate the public and address witchcraft claims against albinos.
She said people with albinism continued living in fragile situations with such root causes of attacks rampant.
“People are still living in fear, particularly in rural areas.”Albinism is a disorder characterized by absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
In Tanzania, albinos represent one in 1 400 births. It is the highest rate in the world.Albino children are seen as a bad omen and become victims of infanticide.
Parents, family members and relatives are accused of conniving with traditional doctors to kill albinos, whose body parts are used as charms.
– CAJ News

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