On 6 June 2022, the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria hosted a capacity-building training workshop for African civil society to implement and monitor the implementation of human rights of persons with albinism in Africa. The aim of the workshop was to equip persons with albinism with tools to enable them to be better placed to engage with National, regional and international mechanisms including and not limited to reporting, engagement with the UN systems such as independent experts and special rapporteurs and periodic reporting as advocacy tools. The countries represented at the workshop were Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania.
Mr Lloyd Kuveya, the Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights delivered the welcome remarks. The United Nations (UN) Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ms Muluka Anne Miti-Drummond delivered the keynote address. Jolene Tautakitaki, Bonface Massah, Lazar Stefanovic, Margaret Zulu and Carlos Quembo from United Nations, academia and civil society organisations discussed albinism as a disability under regional and international human rights instruments. One of the instruments that were considered for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with albinism is the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (African Disability Protocol) thus demonstrating the need for African States to ratify it.
The meeting participants also deliberated on the challenges that have impeded the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with albinism in Africa by African Nations and pledged to re-ignite the advocacy efforts of civil societies across Africa towards ensuring the rights of persons with albinism. Some of the ways of ensuring the rights of persons with albinism are through monitoring and reporting human rights implementation under the UN and African Union (AU) systems and interacting with the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
The workshop participants committed to the following advocacy strategies to push for the protection of the rights of persons with albinism: strengthening traditional and social partners to carry out the agenda, engaging with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, organising a national dialogue forum on the implementation of the AU Implementation Matrix (2021 - 2031) of the plan of action to end attacks and other human rights violations targeting persons with albinism in Africa, sensitising civil organisations to champion the rights of persons with albinism, and engaging the government officials in order to get their political commitment towards ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities.
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