Lilongwe, Norwegian Embassy in Malawi has said the plight of Malawians with albinism has not escaped Norwegian government’s development efforts in the country.
Deputy Head of Mission, Head of Development Cooperation for Norwegian Embassy, Merethe Luis said this Thursday during international women’s day by celebrating the lives of women and girls with albinism in Malawi at sun bird capital hotel.
She said Malawi is one of Norway’s 10 partners countries worldwide of which seven are in Africa for long term development cooperation.
In the group of African partner countries, Malawi is the biggest recipient of Norwegian aid. Our key areas of intervention are in health, education, agriculture and governance. For the past three years under the governance umbrella, Norway has supported a programme targeting people with albinism, Luis pointed out.
She said this programme started in five districts but has been scaled up to another five making it 10 districts across the country.
The deputy head added that the programme has managed to sensitize communities, traditional and religious leaders, on albinism.
So far 230, Group Village Headperson (GVHs) across 10 impact districts have put in place specific measures to reduce violence against people with albinism. Some GHVs have introduced night patrol by community policing to protect persons with albinism from attacks, Luis explained.
She noted that significant drop in the number of attacks on people with albinism.
The Deputy Head said views that Norway’s efforts are intended to augment government’s efforts and that other organisations such as the UN Family and non- governmental originations’, commuted to eliminating violence against women and girls in the country.
Luis commended the efforts towards ending stigma and discrimination faced by person with albinism in the country.
We need to work together to address the root causes of those human injustices through human rights education and raising awareness in whatever programmes we have in order to identify and stop these criminal attack on people with albinism, she added.
UN Women Representative in Malawi, Clara Anyangwe said in an attempt to promote the rights of vulnerable groups, there is need to remember that our role as duty bearers and women was to ensure we must leave no one behind.
She said persons with albinism are facing a lot of challenges and nay support they are provided with could make a huge difference to their lives.
we must note that these obstacles go beyond not just gender inequality but racism and other forms of discrimination and stigma.as we move to ensure we are building a better future we must be intersectional in our approach, Anyangwe observed.
minister of gender, children, disability and social welfare, Cecilia Chazama said the country’s leadership was very much committed and geared towards the elimination of all forms of discrimination that are currently still rampant towards person with albinism in various communities.
We have the Constitution which recognizes persons with disabilities including those with albinism, as equal right holders and citizens of the country. The Constitution prohibit discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability, religion, colour and race, she said.
Chazama explained that Malawi signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) in 2007 and 2009 respectively to advance the global agenda on disability in the country.
The Minister pointed out that tha country is obligated to protect, promote and fulfil all that is enshrined in such instruments.
A report by Amnesty international released in 2018, estimates that there are between 7,000 and 10,000 persons in Malawi with albinism while Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) put the figures around 15,000.
Many of the persons continue to experience human rights violations and abuse based on their skin colour.
Source: MANA Online