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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on 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

Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, Sandra Kalniete, Dubravka Šuica, Sven Schulze, Lefteris Christoforou, Ivan Štefanec, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, David McAllister, Mairead McGuinness, Marijana Petir, Pavel Svoboda, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Tomáš Zdechovský, Elisabetta Gardini, Claude Rolin, Jaromír Štětina, Maurice Ponga, Milan Zver, Csaba Sógor, József Nagy, Brian Hayes, Adam Szejnfeld, Luděk Niedermayer, Patricija Šulin, Anna Záborská, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Deirdre Clune, Andrey Kovatchev, Seán Kelly, Jiří Pospíšil, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso on behalf of the PPE Group

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

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


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on albinism in Africa, in particular that of 7 July  2016 on Situation of persons with albinism in Africa, notably in Malawi and of 4 September 2008 on the killing of albinos in Tanzania,


-having regard to the EEAS Statement of 13 June 2017 on International Albinism Awareness Day,


-having regard to the outcome of UN Experts Workshop of 21-22 September 2017 on Witchcraft and Human Rights,


-having regard to the OHCHR Press Release of 19 September 2017 on Ground-breaking step to tackle impunity for witchcraft related human rights violations,


-having regard to the report of 24 March 2017 of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism on her mission to Malawi


-having regard to the report of 10 January 2017 of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism,


-having regard to the OHCHR Press Release of 28 July 2017 on Reported attacks against persons with albinism in Tanzania,


-having regard to the Regional Action Plan to end attacks on persons with albinism in Africa for period 2017-2021 and the related African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights resolution of 22 May 2017,


-having regard to EU and UN Call of 13 June 2016 to End Stigmatization and Discrimination of People Living with Albinism,


-having regard to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights resolution of June2016 on the Attacks on Persons with Albinism in Malawi,


-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 in some parts of Africa, persons with albinism are faced with continuous stigmatization and violations of their fundamental rights, including attacks and killings, rape, kidnappings and mutilation due to superstition and witchcraft-related beliefs; whereas in several African countries, they are regularly killed by criminal gangs and traffickers for their body parts, which are believed to bring luck, health and fortune;


B.whereas in the last decade according to human rights groups, more than 600 attacks against persons with albinism have been reported in Africa, although these numbers are most likely underestimated; whereas these attacks have considerably grown over the past years, notably in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique;


C.whereas in Tanzania, which has the highest ratio of persons with albinism in the world, more than 80 people have been murdered since 2000; whereas this has caused hundreds of persons to flee to seek refuge and shelter in secluded places such as the Ukerewe Island on Lake Victoria;


D.whereas in Malawi where up to 10,000 persons live with albinism, more than 60 persons have been victim of crime since 2014, and dozens have been killed; whereas 3 deaths were reported since the beginning of the year, including that of a nine-year-old boy taken away by a gang of 10 men in May 2017;


E.whereas in spite of reforming the Penal Code and Anatomy Act in 2016, the number of attacks in Malawi has not lowered and due to poor law enforcement and judicial capacities, perpetrators are rarely identified, brought to justice or convicted;


F.whereas women and children are more often targeted and particularly vulnerable to attacks, abandonment or isolation; whereas children with albinism are regularly withdrawn from school for fear of abductions, and women are at risk of sexual abuse and violence due to beliefs that sex with a person with albinism can cure AIDS;


G.whereas this situation has caused greater precarity and insecurity for persons with albinism, limiting their access to basic services such as healthcare and education, their employment opportunities, as well as their full participation in society; whereas it is estimated that 90% of people with the condition in Africa die before the age of 40;


H.whereas in December 2014, the UNGA adopted a resolution proclaiming 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day, followed in 2015 by the appointment of a UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights of Persons with Albinism, Ikponwosa Ero;


I.whereas in June 2017, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights adopted a Regional Action Plan to end attacks on Persons with Albinism for the period of 2017-2021, endorsed by the UN and by various regional and international stakeholders; whereas this Plan aims at fostering joint efforts and actions to combat violence against persons with albinism and to protect their rights and those of their families; whereas however in spite of this increasing attention among the international community, crimes continue to be committed in total impunity;


J.whereas poverty is a root cause of violence against persons with albinism and increases their insecurity;


1.Remains deeply concerned about the continuing systematic attacks and killings suffered by persons with albinism in Africa, in particular in Malawi, and strongly condemns any violence, discrimination and persecution directed at persons with albinism, as well as the trafficking of their body parts;


2.Urges the Malawi’s government, and the authorities of all countries affected, to take all necessary measures to ensure the effective protection of persons with albinism, as well as their families, and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against them;


3.Recalls the Malawi’s government of its obligation to protect the rights, dignity and physical integrity of their citizens in all circumstances and to put an end to the impunity enjoyed by their perpetrators by conducting the necessary investigations into these crimes and bringing those responsible to justice;


4.Acknowledges the efforts made by the Malawi’s authorities to tackle the phenomena; stresses however that progress is still lacking, in particular on improving the legal protection and action for victims, and ensuring adequate redress and rehabilitation mechanisms;


5.Calls on the Malawi’s authorities to adopt concrete strategies and policies to address the root causes of the phenomenon, notably by developing education and awareness-raising activities and campaigns on albinism; insists in this regard on the crucial role of local authorities and civil society organisations in promoting the rights of persons with albinism;


6.Recalls that access to healthcare and education remains a great challenge for persons with albinism which needs to be tackled; calls for greater investment in creating adequate social, care and counselling structures for victims, in particular for women and children, as well as a better response to their medical and psychological needs; insists that policies should be put in place to facilitate their reintegration in their communities;


7.Stresses the need to combat the marginalization of persons with albinism by ensuring their free and equal participation in society and the enjoyment of their civil and economic rights;


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.Recalls that violence against albinos is often of a cross-border nature and insists on the need to strengthen regional cooperation on the matter; welcomes, therefore, all initiatives taken at the regional and international levels to fight violence against persons with albinism and in particular the recent adoption of the Regional Action Plan 2017-2021, jointly by the African Union and the UN which is a positive and concrete signal of commitment by African leaders; calls for its immediate and effective implementation;


10.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;


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


12.Calls on the EU and its Member States to continue to support the countries affected in fighting violence on grounds of albinism and improving the social integration of persons with albinism, notably through its development programmes and political dialogue and by sharing best practices and providing the necessary technical assistance;


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