13 June 2018

Malawi to Commemorate International Albinism Day

Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr. Jean Kalilani Tuesday disclosed that Malawi would commemorate this year's International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) on June 23, 2018.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe, the Minister said the day is commemorated annually on June 13, to appeal to Governments, Civil Society Organizations and the public to respect the rights of persons with albinism, which are increasingly being violated.

"The day will be commemorated at Mwenilondo Primary School ground in Karonga District since it is one of the districts that have registered a significant number of cases of attacks," Kalilani pointed out.

She said one of the challenges in the fight against attacks on persons with albinism in the country has been cases involving other nationals especially from Mozambique and Tanzania.

The Minister said this year's theme is "Shinning our light to the world" would be showcased in the border district of Karonga as it was the case in Ntcheu last year.

Kalilani added that due to this theme, this year's commemoration is to appeal to every Malawian need to be an example to the world on how we should live with persons with albinism.

"Let me take this opportunity to appeal to other stakeholders who have not been involved in the fight for the rights of person with albinism to actively take part in their protection and promotion of rights," she explained.

Kalilani revealed that during the commemoration, government would launch National Action Plan of action against people living with albinism.

UN Women Representative, who represented UN Coordinator, Clara Anyangwe said the UN is hopeful that the new plan of action would be implemented to accommodate all critical gaps and address the existing social and economic challenges faced by persons with albinism.

"We are happy that the rate of new attracts against persons with albinism has fallen since 2016 and that that awareness has been strengthened" she said.

"From the outlook of cases of albinism that we had so far it is concerning that there have not been no convictions so far but our hope is that the breakdown of McDonald Masambuka case we will have more links to lead the prosecutors where the perpetrators are and give us answers to why people with albinism are being attacked," Anyangwe stated.

So far Malawi has recoded 145 cases of albino abduction with the latest is of Masambuka case which took place earlier this year.

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