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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

Karol Karski, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Urszula Krupa, Notis Marias, Raffaele Fitto, Angel Dzhambazki, Branislav Škripek, Valdemar Tomaševski, Monica Macovei, Jan Zahradil, Ruža Tomašić, Jana Žitňanská on behalf of the ECR Group

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

Procedură : 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 4 September 2008 on the killing of people with albinism 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 the ‘Reported Attacks of Persons with Albinism’ 2016 report released by the United Nations,


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


A. whereas 172 killings and 276 other attacks against people with albinism occurred in 2016, all within 25 African countries;


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


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


D. whereas, apart from Malawi, attacks against persons with albinism this year have also been reported in Burundi, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, in which cases the majority of the victims were reportedly children;


E. whereas albinism is an inherited genetic condition, but many popular misconceptions and superstitions surrounding it to pose a challenge to developmental efforts and human rights monitors, particularly in sub-saharan Africa;


F. whereas the utmost threat to persons with albinism in most of Africa is posed by misleading and superstitious beliefs regarding the condition, including the myth that body parts belonging to persons with albinism have magical powers, particularly in local traditional medicines and practices related to witchcraft, and are thus marketed on transnational illegal black markets; whereas, as a result, persons with albinism have been specifically targeted, maimed and dismembered and/or murdered, and graves of persons with albinism dug up and desecrated;


G. whereas the aforementioned superstitions and misconceptions surrounding albinism have also caused persons with albinism to be ostracised, violently attacked and even murdered in those instances where such negative beliefs hold that persons with albinism are cursed and bring bad luck;


H. 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 Africans, which in turn has major effects on the social integration of persons with albinism into African society;


I. whereas ninety-eight percent of African persons with albinism die by the age of forty due to medical complications associated with albinism, a humanitarian catastrophe which could be alleviated with the development of medical facilities and knowledge in the region;


J. whereas the confinement of persons with albinism to certain areas thanks to social stigmas bears the risk of ghettoisation and whereas instead measures ought to be undertaken to tackle ignorance, raise awareness, challenge stereotypes, and, crucially, educate the general public to remove the stigma and negative beliefs associated with persons with albinism;


K. 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;


L. 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 murder, kidnapping, ostracisation, intimidation, physical and psychological violence suffered by persons with albinism in Malawi and elsewhere in Africa;


2. Calls on the president of Malawi to protect persons with albinism from physical harm, 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 Malawian Government to meet the medical, psychological and social needs of people with albinism more effectively by guaranteeing them equal access to healthcare, education and employment;


4. Calls on the President of Malawi to include people with albinism in society through implementing adequate educational systems that address the needs and rights of persons with albinism, to make available different products to address medical issues specific for people with albinism, and to make primary healthcare accessible for people with albinism;


5. Calls on the government of Malawi to ensure medical doctors who come in direct contact with people with albinism and their medical problems are adequately educated and sensitized to the needs of these patients, and furthermore to provide such programmes for people with albinism and their families/caregiver(s) on how to deal with medical issues related to albinism;


6. Calls on the government of Malawi to put more effort into addressing the root causes of such discrimination and violence, particularly in exploring and dealing with situations in which people with albinism are most at risk of being attacked, kidnapped or targeted by violence, whether these are founded in social stigma or traditional medical practices;


7. Calls on the Malawian government to support all actions undertaken in favor of the improvement of civil and human rights of people with albinism;


8. Calls on the Malawian government to foster the exchange of views with other African nations where the treatment of persons with albinism is also of concern, specifically in constructing effective and culturally acceptable strategies for improving the situation of persons with albinism and reversing the worrying rising trend in albinism-related attacks in recent years;


9. 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;


10. 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;


11. 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.