In a press release [test] Friday a UN rights expert expressed on-going concerns for the safety of persons with albinism in Mozambique, while at the same time recognizing that the nation had taken successful steps to improve conditions. Specifically, the UN commended the Mozambique government in its work toward preempting and prosecuting crimes committed against persons with albinism. However, an Independent Expert for the UN, Ikponwosa Ero, warned of the precarious situation still experienced by those with albinism in the region. Around the world, Albinism is subject to mystification and people living with the condition are harassed, attacked, or killed for their body parts. The expert urged Mozambique to identify the masterminds behind such crimes.
The treatment of albinos in Africa and neighboring countries has been a highly contested human rights issue for many years. Earlier this year Ero noted the increasing violence [JURIST report] against people with albinism triggered by fallacious “witchcraft” beliefs. Last year the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched a website [JURIST report] aimed at disproving the myths of albinism. In 2014 the OHCHR said that the Tanzanian government’s system of placing children with albinism in government care centers does not provide this vulnerable group with adequate protection [JURIST report] from those who target albinos. In May 2014 then-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for increased protection [press release] for people with albinism after the murder of a 40-year old woman with albinism, adding that the killing demonstrated that the human rights situation for people with albinism in Tanzania and other countries remains dire.