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Procedure : 2017/2868(RSP)
Forløb i plenarforsamlingen
Dokumentforløb : B8-0554/2017

Indgivne tekster :

B8-0554/2017

Forhandlinger :

Afstemninger :

PV 05/10/2017 - 4.1

Vedtagne tekster :

P8_TA(2017)0381

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 306kWORD 54k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0543/2017
3.10.2017
PE611.480v01-00
 
B8-0554/2017

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation of people with albinism in Malawi and other African countries (2017/2868(RSP))


Isabella Adinolfi, Rolandas Paksas, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao on behalf of the EFDD Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation of people with albinism in Malawi and other African countries (2017/2868(RSP))  
B8‑0554/2017

The European Parliament,

¾having regard to its resolution of 4 September 2008 on the killing of albinos in Tanzania and to its previous resolution of 6 July 2016 on the situation of persons with albinism in Africa, notably in Malawi

 

¾having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

 

¾having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 

¾Having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1976;

 

¾having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,

 

¾having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

 

¾Having regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1969

 

¾having regard to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities of 18 December 1992,

 

¾Having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

 

¾ having regard to the report of 18 January 2016 of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism,

 

¾having regard to UN Human Rights Council Resolution 23/13 of 13 June 2013 on attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism,

 

¾Having regard to UNGA resolution 69/170 proclaiming 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day and to UNHRC resolution 23/13 on Attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism

 

¾having regard to the EU press releases of 13 June 2015 and 13 June 2016 on the International Albinism Awareness Day, and the Statement of 13 June 2017 on the same subject,

 

¾having regard to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Resolution 263 of 5 November 2013 on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism,

 

¾having regard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement,

 

¾Having regard to the Constitution of Malawi

 

¾Having regard to the Malawi Trafficking in Persons Act of 10 April 2015

 

¾Having regard to the national Indicative Program 2014-2020 and to the Annual Action Programme 2015 for Malawi

 

 

 

 

A. Whereas erroneous beliefs and superstitions have put the enjoyment of rights as well as the safety and the lives of people with albinism in Africa, particularly in Malawi, at risk; whereas human rights violations and abuses against them range from widespread societal discrimination, verbal abuse and exclusion from access to public services, including education and health services, to robberies, killings, abductions and mutilations; whereas people with albinism may also experience intersectional human rights violations and abuses based on gender, disability and colour;

 

B. Whereas the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) estimates that there are between 7,000 and 10,000 people with albinism in Malawi; whereas According to the Malawi Police Service, at least 69 cases involving crimes related to people with albinism have been reported since November 2014;

 

C. Whereas Malawi’s Constitution prohibits discrimination in the enjoyment of human rights, inter alia, on the basis of race, colour, disability and other status and thus any form of exclusion of people with albinism is illegal;

 

D. Whereas Malawi is not an isolated case as a study by albinism awareness group Under the Sun found that there were a total of 448 reported attacks on albino population in 2015, across 25 African countries; whereas in as many as 23 countries African countries people with albinism face extreme forms of discrimination that include abductions, killings and mutilations on the basis of superstitions and myths about their pigmentation; whereas lack of statistics of persons with albinism and of related crimes may indicate the practice is more widespread than the cases reported by the media;

 

E. Whereas in Tanzania people with albinism are estimated in over 18,000 individuals and more than 80 persons with albinism have been killed since 2000, while the number of convicted in these cases has been very low; whereas in 2015 the government banned witchdoctors and arrested more than 200 of them as part of its efforts to prevent further attacks and kidnappings targeting people with albinism

 

F. Whereas a survey conducted by NGOs in Kenya revealed that 11% of the population believes that persons with albinism have supernatural powers and 16% are not sure whether they possess these powers or not; whereas this kind of belief can easily lead to violence;

 

G. Whereas according to the UNDP’s Human Development Report of 2016, Malawi ranks 170 out of 188 countries; whereas Malawi has a poverty rate of 50.7 %, high illiteracy levels, high population growth, an over dependence on rain-fed agriculture and an HIV/AIDS pandemic; whereas Malawi ranks as the 13th worst performing economy in the 2014/15 Global Competitiveness report produced by the World Economic Forum; whereas the already problematic socio-economic situation of the country has been further exacerbated by the El Niño-related drought affecting southern Africa that increased food insecurity and reduced employment prospects for farm labourers; whereas an estimated 2.83 million people in Malawi required food aid during the 2015/16 lean season;

 

H. Whereas this tragic socio-economic situation and the extreme deprivation faced by communities together with the harmful beliefs and myths that the bones or body parts of people with albinism contain gold, can be sold for a large sum of money or used for rituals or to produce charms and magic potions to bring wealth and good luck make so that the albino population is particularly vulnerable to stigmatization and attacks; whereas even after a person with albinism has died, their graves are at risk of exhumation by individuals or gangs attempting to obtain body parts to sell; whereas new-born babies with albinism are at risk of being killed or sold and their parents may face discrimination and exclusion; whereas women also face the danger of rape and sexual abuse as a result of the belief that having sex with a person with albinism will cure HIV/AIDS

 

I. Whereas other reasons to discriminate Albinos stem from lack of instruction, knowledge and ignorance as most people do not know that albinism is a rare genetic condition and believe it is a curse from the gods or a communicable condition that may be acquired by associating with person with albinism; whereas this lack of knowledge fuels stereotypes leading to verbal and physical abuse, social exclusion within families and communities and discrimination; whereas this discrimination can lead to life-long psycho-social problems, including loss of confidence, self-exclusion and individuals becoming suicidal.

 

J. Whereas people with albinism do not constitute a racial group but nevertheless the discrimination they face could fall under a number of different grounds mentioned in international standards – in particular, race, colour, and disability and as such there is potential to address albinism under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1969, of which Malawi is party;

 

 

K. Whereas the track record of Malawi police in tackling cases related to albinism is poor as the police appears to be ill equipped to investigate violent crimes against people with albinism and lacks crucial expertise (ex. forensic expertise), tools and equipment and suffers of lack of motivation among officers due to poor remuneration; whereas some law enforcement officers may be influences by the prejudice against people with albinism that exists in the society and thus they do not treat human rights abuses and crimes against albino population seriously;

 

L. Whereas the United Nations Independent Expert on the rights of persons with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, warned that the atrocities faced by persons with albinism in Malawi render them “an endangered people group facing a risk of systemic extinction over time if nothing is done”

 

 

 

1. Deplores the huge rise in the number of attacks against albinos in Malawi, in the last two years,

 

2. Denounces that since January 2017, at least two people with albinism have been killed in Malawi, while seven more have reported crimes such as attempted murder or abduction, and that many other persons affected by albinism have disappeared and it is feared that they have been killed for their body parts,

 

3. Reminds the primary responsibility of a state to protect its citizens and urges states where the albino population suffer discrimination to take all measures necessary to ensure the effective protection of persons with albinism and their family members

 

4. Calls upon the authorities to ensure accountability, to launch effective investigations into attacks against persons with albinism, bringing those responsible to justice and to ensure remedies for the victims and their families; believes that Malawi authorities should seek international support to conduct investigations, in particular specialist support for forensic testing as well as support in implementing the best practices in combating human trafficking

 

5. Welcomes Malawi government efforts in combating attacks and discriminations towards albinos and the President commitments and declarations in this sense; welcomes the setting up of a National Steering Committee on Attacks on Persons with Albinism and the National Response Plan of March 2015 as well as the appointment of a special legal counsel in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to lead in the prosecution of perpetrators of attacks against people with albinism, the issuing of a practice direction on handling cases concerning persons with albinism and the setting up, in May 2016, of a high level committee to coordinate government response;

 

6. Is worried that while these important steps have been taken and represent a good starting point, they have not always been matched with appropriate human and financial resources to deliver; calls on the government to address this shortcomings and allocate adequate resources to the National Task Force in order to fully implement the National Response Plan;

 

7. Welcomes the mobilization of civil society organizations such as APAM (Association of People with Albinism in Malawi) and FEDOMA (Federation of Disability Organizations) who are engaged with the government, advocate justice for victims of discrimination against people with albinism, offer support and solidarity for individuals and families and conduce activities with the aim to demystify stereotypes and myths about albinism;

 

8. Is worried by the police failure to promptly and effectively investigate the crimes against people with albinism, fostering a climate of impunity, and acknowledges that this may be related to systemic problems in the country; calls on the Malawi government to seek international technical cooperation to strengthen police investigation and to provide adequate resources to police so that they can effectively carry out their job;

 

9. Calls, in this regard, for a reinforced cooperation with other police services in the continent and in particular with neighbouring Mozambique and Tanzania in order to share best practices and combat cross border trade of body parts and trafficking of people;

 

10. Welcomes Tanzania and Malawi government decision to outlaw witch doctors in a bid to stop the murders of Albino people in the countries; calls on the government of Malawi and other countries where albinos face discrimination to amend existing laws to capture the gravity of crimes against people with albinism;

 

11. Is firmly convinced the best way to contrast discriminations and attacks against albinos is to fight the lack of knowledge surrounding this genetic condition by raising the awareness population; warmly welcomes in this regard the work of civil society organizations who are actively informing the population and supporting those in need; laments the poor funding of these CSOs

 

12. Calls on the government to step up in order to eliminate discrimination towards persons with albinism through media, public declarations and any other available mean to educate the population and to launch public awareness-raising activities with the aim to debunk myths on the condition; believes that prosecutors, investigators and police staff should receive special training aimed at offering knowledge useful in dealing with cases involving persons with albinism

 

13. Calls on fostering at all levels of the education system an attitude of respect for the rights of persons with albinism or other disabilities; believes that a set of measures and initiatives like encouraging the media to portray persons with albinism in dignified way, appointing people with albinism into public office, providing information to women who give birth to babies with albinism on caring of their children and sensitizing health personnel and teachers and school administration about the specific need of people with albinism would facilitate their integration in society, allowing them to enjoy the full range of right to which they are entitled;

 

14. Calls on the international community to step up its technical and financial support to the governments and civil society of those countries where people with albinism face discriminations; welcomes the organization of the first-ever regional forum for Action on Albinism that took place in Dar el Salaam, Tanzania from 17 to 19 June 2016 as well as the establishment of the International Albinism Awareness Day on the 13 of June as ways to draw international attention on the issues of the albino population;

 

15. Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to raise the concerns about the condition of persons with albinism with the government of Malawi, Tanzania and other interested countries at all exchanges, including at highest level and to give political backing to the government of those countries who are trying to improve the situation of the albino population;

 

16. Calls on the governments to take concrete steps to help people affected by albinism by inter alia providing affordable or free sunscreen to albinos at health centres, to avoid skin cancer, as well as vision supporting apparatus;

 

17. Calls on the governments to conduct effective census of persons with albinism as reliable data could be important for plans and policies aimed at improving the condition of people with albinism;

 

18. Instructs its President to forward this Resolution to the Council, the European Commission, the VP/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EEAS, the African Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the government and the Parliament of Malawi and Tanzania and the EU-ACP JPA.

 

 

Juridisk meddelelse