Malawi pledges to protect albinos
JOHANNESBURG — The rights of people with albinism in Malawi must be guaranteed, Amnesty International (AI) said on Monday.
“Malawian officials must live up to their promises to end violence against people with albinism and tackle discrimination against this group,” AI said in a statement on International Albinism Awareness
After a series of meetings with senior government officials, including President Arthur Peter Mutharika, on June 7, Amnesty International said in a statement it secured commitments to address the spate of killings of people with albinism and to tackle the root causes of discrimination.
“Recognition by the Malawian authorities at the highest level that people with albinism not only experience daily discrimination but also live in constant fear of attacks is an important step in addressing the problem,” said Deprose Muchena, AI regional director for Southern Africa.
“Malawian police need more resources and must conduct thorough and effective investigations to bring the abductions and killings to an end.
“Visible policing in rural areas coupled with an effective public education campaigns can contribute significantly in arresting the problem,” Muchena said.
On June 7, an AI delegation presented the organisation’s latest report on Malawi to Mutharika and other officials, including the inspector general of police, the minister of gender, children, disability, and social welfare, and the minister of justice.
During the meetings several commitments were made including reviewing government’s policies and establishing the root causes of the crimes against people with albinism.
“The government of Malawi also welcomed Amnesty International’s recommendations to ensure safety for the vulnerable group in the country. These include the call for visible policing in rural districts as well as monitoring and recording attacks,” said AI.
The AI report released on June 7, titled: “We are not animals to be hunted or sold: Violence and discrimination against people with albinism in Malawi” revealed that at least 18 people with albinism had been killed since November 2014.