Violence and discrimination against persons with albinism as well as trafficking and cross-border sale of their body parts continue to be a worrying trend on the continent. The Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Persons with Albinism, Ms Ikponwosa Ero in her report to the Human Rights Council earlier this year reported that over 500 cases of violence against persons with albinism including murder and mutilation have been reported in 26 African countries, since 2006. It is believed that a majority of cases go unreported due to the secrecy of witchcraft and other harmful practices which serve as the context of most of these attacks.
In response to these persistent and egregious violations of the rights of persons with albinism in many parts of Africa, the Centre for Human Rights with the support of Open Society Foundation hosted a two-day conference on 9-10 November 2016 which focused on Advancing the Rights of Persons with Albinism in Africa.
Twenty-five papers jointly conceptualised by civil society organisations working on the rights of persons with albinism and academia were presented at the conference. These papers covered a diverse range of critical issues including the role of superstition, myth and witchcraft in contributing to rights violations of persons with albinism; research and socio-cultural construction of albinism; the state responsibility for protection and law enforcement; the role of regional and sub-regional systems; discrimination in healthcare and education. The discussions in the conference yielded innovative and practical solutions and ideas that will contribute towards advancing the rights of persons with disabilities on the continent.
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