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Motion for a resolution - B8-0911/2016Motion for a resolution

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

Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Patrick Le Hyaric, Malin Björk, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Rina Ronja Kari, Paloma López Bermejo, Kateřina Konečná, Jiří Maštálka, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Marisa Matias, Merja Kyllönen, Ángela Vallina, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Stelios Kouloglou, Kostas Chrysogonos, Kostadinka Kuneva, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Barbara Spinelli, Younous Omarjee on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

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

Procedure : 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 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, and which is binding and applied without exception,

–  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 African Charter of Human and Peoples' rights,

–  having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 10 March 2015 the United Nations human rights chief expressed revulsion at a recent spike in gruesome attacks against people with albinism in several East African countries reporting that during the previous six months at least 15 albinos were abducted, wounded, or killed;

B.  whereas albinos constitute a minority and discrimination against albinos is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa; whereas albinism affects one in 20 000 people worldwide;

C. whereas it is believed that the albino organs possess "mystical powers"; whereas in some parts of the region, albino hunters brutally hack off the hair, arms, legs, skin, eyes, and genitals of their victims - abandoning them dead or alive - as these body parts are used in witch doctors' spells and potions; whereas it has been found that the limbs, genitals, ears and nose, or a “full set” of albinos are being sell; whereas people pay for albino´s bodies so they could extract the gold they believed was in their bones;

D.  whereas attacks against people with albinism have not only taken place Malawi but there are also reported cases in several countries of the East Africa region such as in Burundi and Tanzania;

E.  whereas according to NGOs and some governmental authorities the killings of albinos are several times the work of organised gangs hired by witch-doctors;

F.  whereas the killings of persons with albinism are barbaric;

G.  whereas these killings have caused great apprehension and fear among the albino community as they now feel very insecure and are even afraid of staying, walking or travelling alone because of the potential risks;

H.  whereas more 50.7% of the Malawi population lives below the national poverty line; whereas access to the health care system is severely restricted, making recourse by the population to witch-doctors or traditional healers a common practice;

I.  whereas hunting albinos could be consider a business as generates profit from those who believe albinos bodies have "mystical powers"; whereas week economic system, huge inequalities and poverty in the region are pushing people to hunt albinos for economic porpoises;

J.  whereas according to a study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), nearly half of the parents of albino children felt humiliated at the time of the child's birth; whereas albino women are subject to discrimination from other women and whereas women who give birth to albino babies are often mocked or rejected and suffer discrimination at work; whereas some two thirds of parents were reported as saying that specific health interventions for albino children were expensive, and half said that their children had serious vision problems; whereas, however, 83% said that their children did as well at school as any other children;

1.  Strongly condemns the killings and persecution of albinos in Africa, particularly in Malawi and speculative trading in their body parts; expresses its condolences to and solidarity with the families of the victims;

2.   Urges competent authorities to step in to protect albinos and go after their killers and traders more effectively;

3.  Calls for effective protections for people with albinism and for the protection of their fundamental rights, in accordance with internationally agreed human rights obligations and commitments; Recalls the paramount role of local authorities and civil society in the protection of albinos;

4.  Considers that the best way to protect the rights of albinos in Africa is to guarantee them equal access to public and quality education and health care, within the framework of inclusion policies, and to provide them with adequate social and legal protection; Recalls that fighting poverty and inequality are also essential for ensuring peoples dignity and human rights respect;

5.   Urges governments in the region to undertake immediate action, promoting social awareness and providing information related to albinism and to boost public services, notably health and education; considers that such measures should particularly be implemented in rural areas, where people tend to be less educated and more superstitious;

6.  Calls on the European Commission and the EEAS to actively and effectively support the UN and its agencies efforts to promote and protect albinos in Africa; Calls on the Council and the Commission to closely monitor the human rights situation of albinos in Africa;

7.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to effectively support the efforts of the local governments, NGOs and civil society to formulate policies to address the needs and rights of albinos, based on non-discrimination and social inclusion, and equal access to public services;

8.  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.