The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has said that EAC Partner States must take effective measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against albinos.
The Assembly condemned all forms of discrimination and attacks against persons with albinism, ritual killings and the trafficking in persons of the same in the EAC Partner States.
The Resolution urging all Partner States to protect the rights and the freedoms of persons living with albinism was moved by Tanzania’s representative Shyrose Bhanji at eala sitting in Zanzibar.
The Resolution states that Persons with Albinism have continually been discriminated against with regards to employment, and access to educational, social and financial services.
“Subsequently, there are increased systematic violence, brutal attacks on and maiming of Persons with Albinism, targeted for ritual killings due to the myths and misconceptions that their body parts are a source of wealth and good charms,” Bhanji noted.
The Resolution, seconded by Abubakar Zein (Kenya) and Nusura Tiperu (Uganda) says, such brutal attacks go contrary to a Resolution guided by of the African Charter for Human and Peoples Rights/Res.263 (LIV) 2013 on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against Persons with Albinism.
“EALA thus implores Partner States to prioritise affirmative action towards Persons with Albinism for purposes of addressing long history of marginalization.” A statement issued by assembly spokesperson, Bobi Odiko said.
Article 6(d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community enjoins the EAC Partner States to uphold, among others, the fundamental principle of good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, social justice, equal opportunities and gender equality.
The same Article further enshrines EAC’s recognition, promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
On its part, Article 2 of the African Charter guarantees every individual, the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized in the African Charter regardless of race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.
Article 18(4) of the African Charter provides that persons with disabilities enjoy the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical or moral needs, in addition to Article 23 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which provides for the special protection of women with disabilities.
The Members reiterated that people with Albinism suffer a lot of discrimination that is not often reported.
The disappearance and killing of albinos continues to be a challenge in some of the Partner States in the region.
The Assembly called for collaboration with different stakeholders to stem the vice and urged. EALA states to institute a collaborative partnership with the Civil Society Organisations, the Private Sector or other actors with the view of eliminating stigma against persons with albinism and promoting the rights, dignity and living conditions of persons with albinism in the region.