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NGOs decry violation of Albinos rights



An albino child with his schoolmates Photo source: ALAMY

In the face of growing violation of the rights of Albinos, two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria have called for more education about albinism, in order to give them their due rights in the society.

The Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN) and Standing Voice (SV), made the demand last week at an event organized by United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

They called for more action to be taken to address the public health misconceptions towards people with albinism, as a driving force behind human rights violations against this endangered group across Africa

According to the NGOs, recent reports indicate that, “there have been 438 recorded attacks in 25 African countries since 2006, and 165 muti murders, involving people with albinism, who are murdered for their body parts to be used by so-called witchdoctors for magic spells (muti). Evidence suggests that such practices are spreading.”

The event, hosted by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNiCRi), looked at the root causes of attacks against persons with albinism, as in many African countries, people with albinism are seen as mythical and mystical beings.

In Tanzania and Malawi, where abuses have been well-documented, some local beliefs suggest that people with albinism are ghosts, who administer curses; and who will bring ill fortune if you come into contact with them; are the result of a curse put on the family; and can bring good fortune when their body parts are used in potions.

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