UN Women Calls for Support, Protection for Persons with Albinism

United Nations Women (UNW) said persons with albinism need to be provided with necessary support and protected from all forms of discrimination.

UNW Executive Board President, Ivana Pajevic said this Wednesday in Dedza in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kaphuka where her organization is implementing UN Human Rights Window albinism project.

She noted that with increased cases of abduction and killings that persons with albinism the country has experienced there is need to make sure that communities view them as human being too.

“Persons with albinism have rights and their rights ought to be protected and upheld at all   times.

They need to live with fear of being abducted or killing by their own relatives of communities,” Pajevic pointed out.

The President said awareness meetings should be intensified throughout the country in order to guard against the malpractices.

She promised the UNW would continue support person with albinism through the project in order to address some of the challenges they are facing with their communities.

UN Advisor on Human Rights, Neal Gilmore said the projected started in 2016 target 10 districts throughout the country.

He said Department for International Development (DFID) is providing financial and technical support for its implementation of the project.

Gilmore said Dedza has registered over 138 people with albinism and are being provided with necessary materials through UNW.

The Advisor said the country has reported over 145 cases involving person with albinism.

He said mostly women and children are the most targeted with the acts of abduction and killings since 2014.

“We are hoping that the project will make positive strides for the communities to change their mindset with person with albinism by supporting and protecting them from all forms of discrimination,” Gilmore stated.

President of Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Boniface Massa said person with albinism are living in fear as a result of the killing of Mac Donald Masambuka in Machinga district.

He said the Machinga killing has revealed that people that are supposed to protect the person with albinism are within the syndicate which is now raising a lot of doubts.

Massa pointed out that,” the Machinga saga exposed the health worker, police office and a priest that they were involved in the killing of the innocent person Masambuka. We are not safe if people who are supposed to protect and help us have been linked to be part of the process.”

APAM President thanked UNW for their support and hoped that the introduction of the projects in the country would help to reduced cases of stigma and attacks towards person with albinism.

Deputy Director responsible for Administration in Ministry of Children, Disability Community and Social Welfare, Patrick Ndasauka said his ministry has developed an action plan in order to address issues affecting person with albinism.

He said the justice system has been strengthened so that albinism cases should be handled with speedy in order to uphold their human rights and protection.

The country has over 10,000 persons with albinism and many are dying due to skin cancer caused by unprotected exposure to the sun.

The UNW delegation visited Kaphuka Area to appreciate on who the project is being implemented and interact with the persons with albinism.