Mozambique must protect albinos from abuse

Azemap, Mozambique's volunteer-run organisation that supports people with albinism

from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) MOZAMBIQUE has been urged to uphold the rights of people with albinism.

These vulnerable members of the community face widespread stigma, discrimination and rejection in the impoverished Southern African country.

According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the violations come from school, the community and sometimes from their own families.

“They face significant obstacles to a quality education because of bullying by their peers and sometimes teachers, and little accommodation in the classroom for their low vision,” lamented Samer Muscati, HRW Associate Director: Disability Rights Division.

He said for this to change, the government of President Filipe Nyusi must dismantle the systemic barriers that people with albinism faces.

“It (government) also needs to transform societal attitudes to foster acceptance and inclusion of people with albinism within their communities,” Muscati added.

According to HRW, approximately 151 persons with albinism have been killed in countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia since 2014 for their body parts.

In Mozambique, a local organization is making the most of the power of art to fight discrimination.

Azemap, a volunteer-run organisation that supports people with albinism, has begun painting five murals at schools across the central Mozambican province of Tete, in collaboration with HRW.

Albinism is a rare condition caused by a lack of melanin or pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.

– CAJ News

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