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Govt asked to ‘urgently’ register persons with albinism

Second left Senator Isaac Maigua Mwaura of Kenya making a presentation to PAP legislators. Courtesy photo.

Pan African Parliament (PAP) legislators have resolved to push for an ‘urgent’ registration of persons with albinism in Uganda, among other Africa countries where they suffer discrimination, ill-treatment and denial of basic human rights.

Representative to Uganda, Hon. Babirye Veronica Kadogo, told the approximately 200 legislatures in Midrand, South Africa that persons with albinism (PWA) are disabled people, however since they are not recognized to be having disabilities, “the government has no programme to address their needs”

Chairperson of the Committee on Justice and Human Hon. Ignatienne Nyirarukundo expressed PAP’s concerns that attacks were escalating in some parts of Africa blaming it on the lack of awareness by some communities that people with albinism held some mystic magic to bring wealth and heal chronic diseases.

“We are not in the Middle Ages, we should know better that murder is murder and merits grave punishment,” she said.

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi President Overstone Kondowe said PWA in Southern Africa were experiencing human rights violations of a higher magnitude including extreme acts of violence and killings.

According to the Pan African Parliament, the highest number of attacks against PWA are in Southern Africa with Malawi registering 136, 45 in Mozambique, 11 in Swaziland, 8 in Uganda and South Africa and two in Zimbabwe.

“About 70 percent of the attacks are on women followed by 23 percent being children,” the legislatures said.

“It is against this situation that I call upon Honourable members of the PAP to urge member states to domesticate the Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa to address discrimination, killings and attacks on persons with albinism, Kondowe said.

“There is a need to ensure that cross border human trafficking menace is addressed and that African states cooperate on this matter. It is important for African governments to take concrete actions aimed at addressing this continued discrimination,” Chairman of Albinism Society of Kenya, Hon. Dr Isaac Mwaura told the committee.

The legislatures were also asked to set aside a budget to address the education and health related rights of people with albinism; and consider appointing persons with albinism deliberately into senior positions in both public and private sector to promote their visibility.

By Staff Writer.

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