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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

Cristian Dan Preda, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Davor Ivo Stier, Tomáš Zdechovský, Andrey Kovatchev, Luděk Niedermayer, Lefteris Christoforou, Patricija Šulin, Pavel Svoboda, Michaela Šojdrová, Claude Rolin, Marijana Petir, Jarosław Wałęsa, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Milan Zver, Ivana Maletić, Jaromír Štětina, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Roberta Metsola, David McAllister, Sven Schulze, Therese Comodini Cachia, Maurice Ponga, Csaba Sógor, Tunne Kelam, József Nagy, Dubravka Šuica, Jiří Pospíšil, Francesc Gambús, Adam Szejnfeld, Giovanni La Via, Eva Paunova, Ivan Štefanec, Eduard Kukan, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Mariya Gabriel, Francisco José Millán Mon, on behalf of the PPE Group

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

Procedūra : 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 report of 18 January 2016 of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism,

–  having regard to the EU Press Release of 13 June 2015 on the International Albinism Awareness Day,

–  having regard to the UNGA resolution of 18 December 2014 on an International Albinism Awareness Day,

–  having regard to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights resolution 263 of 5 November 2013 on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council Resolution of 24 June 2013 on attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

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

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

–  having regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

–  having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights,

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

A. whereas albinism is a congenital disorder affecting about one in 20,000 people worldwide; whereas this rate is much higher in sub-Saharan countries, with Tanzania, Malawi and Burundi having one of the highest concentration of albino persons;

B. whereas persons with albinism (PWA) are facing some of the most extreme forms of persecution and human rights violations, mainly due to witchcraft, cultural beliefs and superstition; whereas human rights observers reported 448 attacks on albinos in 2015 alone across 25 African countries, including mutilation, murder, rape and abductions; whereas these numbers are most likely underestimated;

C. whereas the increase of violence against PWA is particularly worrying in the Eastern African region, notably in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique;

D. whereas in Malawi, where an estimated 10,000 people live with albinism, police reported that at least 18 people have been killed and 69 attacked since November 2014; whereas four were killed in April 2016, including a two-year-old baby, leading the authorities to declare PWA an “endangered species”;

E. whereas in several African countries, albinos are regularly killed by criminal gangs and traffickers for their body parts, which are believed to bring luck, health and fortune; whereas in several countries, graves of PWA were open and body parts or bones were stolen;

F. whereas women and children with albinism are particularly vulnerable; whereas albino women are often the target of sexual violence and women who give birth to albino babies are rejected and discriminated at work; whereas children constitute a large proportion of victims of ritual attacks and face a high risk of abandonment and isolation;

G. whereas people with albinism normally have more difficulties to access appropriate medical care, including preventive medication for skin cancer which is common amongst people with albinism;


H. whereas despite increasing international visibility and the adoption of new legislation in the countries affected, prosecutions and convictions remain very few and crimes and torture continue to be committed in total impunity in many African countries;

I. whereas on 1 March in Southern Malawi, an angry mob lynched and set on fire seven alleged “albino hunters”; whereas Malawi’s Inspector General of Police order his officers to shoot to kill anyone caught abducting PWA;

J. whereas discrimination, harassment and stigmatization of PWA has caused hundreds of persons to flee and seek refuge in temporary shelters; whereas this situation has caused greater precarity and insecurity for PWA, limiting their access to basic services such as healthcare and education, their employment opportunities, as well as their full participation in society;

K. whereas in March 2015, the UN appointed its first independent expert on the human rights of people with albinism;

1. Expresses its deep concern at the continuous and widespread discrimination and persecution faced by persons with albinism in Africa, notably following the recent rise of violence in Malawi; strongly condemns all killings, abductions, mutilations and other inhumane and degrading treatments suffered by PWA; further condemns any speculative trade made on PWA’s body parts;

2. Deplores the silence and passivity surrounding these events; urges the government of Malawi, and the authorities of all countries affected, to take all necessary measures to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against PWA and protect their dignity, human rights and well-being, as well as those of their family members;

3. Encourages national authorities to increase their efforts to put an end to impunity and to conduct impartial and effective investigations into all reported attacks against PWA in order to bring those responsible to justice and hold them accountable; further insists that the victims must be provided with the necessary legal, social and psychological support;

4. Believes that more efforts should be put in addressing the root causes of such discrimination and violence; insists on the crucial role of local authorities and civil society organisations in promoting the rights of PWA, informing and educating the population, raising awareness and shattering the myths and prejudices about albinism;

5. Calls on the EU and its Member States to keep engaging with the countries affected, in an open dialogue, by sharing best practices and providing the necessary technical assistance to better promote the rights and the social and economic inclusion of PWA;

6. Is concerned at the specific challenges faced by women and children with albinism which make them more exposed to poverty, insecurity and isolation; insists that all victims should have access to appropriate medical and psychological care, and that adequate policies should be put in place to facilitate their reintegration in their communities;

7. Underlines that the general lack of understanding and health information on albinism tend to aggravate the health condition of PWA; insists on the need to ensure their access to healthcare, in particular in rural and remote areas;

8. Calls on the authorities of the countries affected, in cooperation with their international and regional partners, to commit to taking all necessary measures to prevent and tackle the illegal trade of albinos’ body parts, track down traffickers and dismantle their networks;

9. Welcomes the efforts made by the Tanzanian government in combating the discrimination against PWA, although words are too rarely followed by actions and too few cases are brought to justice; however considers the appointment of Tanzanian President in 2008 of the first Member of the Parliament with Albanism,, Alshaymaa Kwegyir, and in December 2015 of the first albino as deputy minister a sign of encouragement;


10. Warns about any escalation and recalls that inciting to hatred and violence cannot be the response to the current discrimination against PWA; in particular, condemns any attempts to do justice for oneself;

11. Calls on the EU to closely monitor the human rights situation of PWA in Africa, particularly through regular reporting by its delegations in the countries most affected;

12. Expresses its full support to the work of the Independent Expert on the human rights of people with albinism;

13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of Malawi, the Government and Parliament of Tanzania, the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.