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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of albinos in Africa, notably in Malawi

5.7.2016 - (2016/2807(RSP))

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

Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Karol Karski, Raffaele Fitto, Angel Dzhambazki, Arne Gericke, Monica Macovei, Notis Marias, Valdemar Tomaševski, Ruža Tomašić on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0897/2016

Proċedura : 2016/2807(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation of albinos in Africa, notably in Malawi


The European Parliament,


–  having regard to its resolution of 4 September 2008 on the killing of albinos in Tanzania,


–  having regard to the United Nations General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,


- having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which was adopted on 27 June 1981 and entered into force on 21 October 1986,


- having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted on 20 November 1989 and entered into force on 2 September 1990,


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


- having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,


- having regard to resolution 23/13 of the United Nations Human Rights Council of 13 June 2013 on attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism and to the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on persons with albinism submitted pursuant to this resolution,


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


–  having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas the UN’s independent expert on human rights and albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, warned that Malawi’s persons with albinism are at risk of total extinction amid escalating attacks against them;


B.  whereas Ms Ero said that the Malawi police have recorded 65 cases of violence against persons with albinism, including abductions, brutal killings and dismemberment, since late 2014;


C. whereas, apart from Malawi, attacks against persons with albinism this year have also been reported in Burundi, Mozambique and Zambia, and whereas most of the victims were likely children;


D. whereas albinism is generally accepted as a health challenge but many misconceptions and myths around this genetic condition make it a human rights and development challenge;


E. whereas the utmost threat to persons with albinism in most of Africa is misleading and negative belief systems about the condition, including the myth that body parts belonging to persons with albinism have magical powers, leading them to be used in a potion as part of witchcraft practices and to be sold on a transnational black market run by criminal gangs; whereas, as a result, persons with albinism have been persecuted, killed and dismembered, and graves of persons with albinism dug up and desecrated;


F. whereas at the same time, persons with albinism have also been ostracised and killed for exactly the opposite reason, because they are presumed to be cursed and bring bad luck;


G. whereas this lack of knowledge about persons with albinism means that folktales and superstition in the name of witchcraft take the place of medical and scientific facts in the minds of many native Africans, which in turn has major effects on the social integration of persons with albinism into African society;


H. whereas ninety-eight percent of African persons with albinism die by the age of forty for reasons which could easily be prevented;


I. whereas the confinement of persons with albinism to certain areas bears the risk of ghettoisation and whereas instead measures to tackle ignorance, raise awareness, challenge Africa’s albino stereotypes, and positive exposure and dialogue are needed;


J. whereas the threat to persons with albinism has the potential to cause extreme trauma and stress in their daily lives, which are already impacted by the stress of their condition, affecting skin and eyesight;


K. whereas a key issue is the influence of educating the public to encourage the removal of the social stigma associated with persons with albinism in a society which does not completely understand that albinism is not a curse or a spiritual ghost, but simply a skin condition;


L. whereas on 13 June 2016, Albinism Awareness Day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on all countries to end the discrimination that threatens the well-being, health and even the lives of persons with albinism, and to provide programmes that will enable them to play a full part in society;


M. whereas the first Action on Albinism in Africa Forum, held from 17 to 19 June 2016 in Dar es Salaam, brought together over 150 people from 28 countries to lay down a roadmap of specific, simple and effective measures to combat human rights abuses against persons with albinism;


1. Strongly condemns the acts of violence, including killings, against persons with albinism in Malawi and elsewhere in Africa;


2. Calls on the president of Malawi to protect persons with albinism from attacks, give the police force resources to adequately investigate crimes related to albinism, bring the perpetrators of albinism-related crimes to justice, and promote social awareness and provide information related to albinism.


3. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support the efforts of the Government, NGOs and civil society of Malawi to formulate and implement policies to address the needs and rights of persons with albinism, based on non-discrimination and social inclusion, and equal access to employment;


4. Calls on the Commission to closely monitor the human rights situation of persons with albinism in Malawi and to promote significant improvements in their protection and social integration;


5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the African Union, the Government and Parliament of Malawi, the UN Secretary General, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the ACP Council.