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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of people with albinism in Malawi and other African countries

3.10.2017 - (2017/2868(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

Maria Heubuch, Heidi Hautala, Jordi Solé, Judith Sargentini, Bart Staes, Michèle Rivasi, Barbara Lochbihler, Ernest Urtasun, Igor Šoltes, Davor Škrlec, Bronis Ropė, Michel Reimon, Sven Giegold on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0543/2017

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


The European Parliament,

having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2016 on the situation of persons with albinism in Africa, notably in Malawi,

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

having regard to the UNGA resolution of 23 December 2015 on Persons with Albinism,

having regard to the report of 10 January 2016 from the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism,

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 declaration from the EEAS spokesperson of 13 June 2017 on the International Albinism Awareness Day,

having regard to the Outcome document of the consultative forum “Action on Albinism in Africa” held in Dar-es-Salaam from 17-19 June 2016,

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

having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

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

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

having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.Whereas persons with albinism constitute a minority and discrimination against people with albinism is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa; whereas persons with albinism face bullying, prejudice and violence in many parts of the world;

B.Whereas albinism affects one in 20,000 people worldwide and , whereas an estimated 2 million people with albinism live in Nigeria alone,

C.Whereas violent attacks, abductions and infanticides against people with albinism have been common for years in several African countries, whereas it is estimated that more than 600 attacks against persons with albinism took place in 26 countries during the last years,

D.Whereas in Malawi renewed attacks against persons with albinism took place in 2017 after a lull of 6 months; whereas Malawian authorities have been accused of sluggishness in convicting perpetrators of attacks,

E.Whereas the attacks have been driven by the belief - advanced by some witchdoctors - that a person with albinisms' body parts have properties that confer wealth and good luck; whereas their body parts are sold on black markets,

F.Whereas in the absence of specific legislation covering trafficking of body parts, some States have been confronted with a legal gap when they arrest persons for trafficking body parts of persons with albinism such as bones, hair and limbs,

G.Whereas persons with albinism are disproportionately affected by poverty, owing to the discrimination and marginalization they face; whereas they face increased health risks especially skin cancer,

H.Whereas the Tanzanian government has been publicly condemning the attacks on people with albinism for years and has engaged in serious and tangible actions to tackle witchcraft in the country, including through numerous arrests of witch doctors,

I.Whereas in 2016, Tanzania hosted a large consultative forum on “Action on Albinism in Africa” with participants from 26 countries from the region,

J.Whereas Malawi has adopted in 2015 a response plan which includes developing an education and awareness programme, strengthening community policing structures and the allocation of adequate police forces in the districts most affected by attacks, undertaking research to understand the root causes of attacks and trafficking in body parts, expediting prosecution of attacks, providing psychosocial support to victims and the review, amendment and enactment of legislation where necessary to ensure the protection of persons with albinism,

K.Whereas Mozambique has adopted an action plan to respond to attacks, focussing on promoting education on albinism, public education and awareness-raising on the issue among families and communities; guaranteeing protection and social assistance to persons with albinism; ensuring prevention of attacks, legal assistance and procedural celerity; sharing and publication of judicial decisions as a means of deterrence; and conducting further research to improve measures identified in the plan and to support evidence-based policymaking;

L.Whereas Nigeria is about to adopt legislation on establishing a national agency on albinism,

M.Whereas Kenia has adopted a programme aiming to supply more than 3,000 people living with albinism with sunscreen lotions, lip care products, after sun lotions, protective clothing, and easier access to eye care products in government hospitals at no fee,

N.Whereas the EU has carried out public advocacy campaigns to generate wider awareness on the matter and supported the engagement of civil society organisations and the capacity building of local authorities in the fight against people with albinism killings;

1. Strongly condemns the killings and abductions of in Malawi and other sub-Saharan African states and the speculative trading in their body parts,

2.Calls on the Malawi authorities to conduct thorough and effective investigations to bring the abductions and killings to an end; considers that visible policing in rural areas coupled with an effective public education campaigns could contribute significantly to halting the problem.

3.Considers witness protection schemes to be of high importance as persons charged for crimes against a person with albinism are often set free because of insufficient evidence due to potential witnesses remaining silent for fear of retaliation,


5.Calls on affected African states to share best practices in preventing attacks against people with albinism, like setting up dedicated offices and budgets on the issue, creating a telephone hotline to report crimes and threats and regulating 'witchcraft' and traditional medicine practitioners.

6.Welcomes the steps taken and the efforts made by the countries concerned, including the initiation of legal action against perpetrators of attacks against persons with albinism, public condemnation of attacks against persons with albinism and public campaigns to raise awareness,

7.Calls on affected African countries to extend where necessary legislation in order to criminalise the possession and trafficking of body parts,

8.Considers that a twin-track approach is needed in order to address the stigmatisation and discrimination of persons with albinism: an emergency and priority response in the area of protection against and prevention of attacks and the adoption of long-term policies to fight discrimination through addressing rampant myths, dangerous misconceptions, stigma and witchcraft practices affecting persons with albinism and ensuring full enjoyment by those persons of their socioeconomic rights;

9.Considers public education, including awareness-raising on the scientific explanations for albinism, to be one of the most fundamental tools for changing myths and erroneous beliefs that trigger violence against persons with albinism;

10. Acknowledges the need for safe houses, as people fleeing from persecution or attacks because of their albinism are poorly protected in their homes and isolated villages in the rural areas,

11. Calls on the affected countries to ensure that children with albinism attend school and are able to finish their education; children with albinism often drop out of school because of discrimination, alienation and out of fear for their lives, which in extent results in people with albinism struggling to get an employment as they grow up,

12. Stresses the particular problematic situation for women and children, which are particularly exposed to threats based on their albinism; women with albinism face an increased risk for rape because of superstitious belief that sexual intercourse with a woman with albinism cures HIV/AIDS;

13. Welcomes Nigeria’s work on specific legislation on Albinism,

14.Welcomes the action taken by the EU and asks the relevant delegations to continue following the issue closely and remain engaged on the matter,

15. Calls on the Commission and Member States to support the efforts of the affected African governments, NGOs and civil society to formulate policies to address the needs and rights of people with albinism, based on non-discrimination and social inclusion, and equal access to employment,

16.Calls in particular on the Commission to support the UNDP's efforts to promote and protect people with albinism in Africa,

17. Calls for improved training of healthcare workers and for workshops to be held for teachers and parents to encourage them to ensure that children with albinism are protected from the sun, as many die of skin cancer before they reach 30 years of age,

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 the EU-ACP JPA.