“Effective measures to end attacks will include
plans to fast track immediate investigation of allegations and prosecution of
alleged perpetrators; appropriate legal, social, psychological and medical
remedy and redress for victims; actions to prevent trafficking in body parts, as
well as measures for the safe re-integration of displaced persons with
albinism,” she added.
Ero further noted in her report that “while
discrimination based on skin colour is an everyday reality for most persons with
albinism, discourse on discrimination based on colour has rarely been applied to
albinism,” explaining that it has tended to focus on race or ethnicity.
“There is potential to address albinism under the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination because the governing concept is racial discrimination which may
be based on any of five ‘grounds’: race, colour, descent, national origin and
ethnic origin,” she underscored.
Children also make up a large proportion of the
victims, not least because of another traditional belief that the more innocent
a victim is the more potent his or her body parts will be for the potion.
Violations are met with passivity and
Meanwhile, OHCHR underlined that thousands of
people with albinism are being subjected to stigma and discrimination around the
world and the violations are met with passivity and indifference. This ranges
from bullying at school to more extreme manifestations such as infanticide,
physical threats and attacks.
Women with albinism are reportedly the victims of
targeted sexual assaults because of a myth that sex with them can cure HIV/AIDS.
Mothers are ostracized or discriminated against if they give birth to a child
with albinism because it’s seen as the result of a curse, a bad omen or of
Some reports from Africa suggest most people with
albinism die between the ages of 30 and 40 years. In many cases the risks could
be reduced with greater understanding; OHCHR reports that it is not uncommon for
parents to put a newborn with albinism out in the sun for hours or for adults
with albinism to spend their days in the sun without using sun protection cream
or protective clothing, which has serious health implications such as
vulnerability to skin cancer.