JOINT STATEMENT TO UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL OPPOSING DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT AGAINST PERSONS WITH ALBINISM

17 February, 2017

On 10 February 2017, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the Malawi Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) made a joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) calling the HRC to impress upon the government of Malawi the need to ensure fair treatment and enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. The submission was made ahead of the 34th session of the UN HRC in Geneva. Summarily, the submission concerned a case of unfair and discriminatory sentencing by a Malawi court against a man with albinism. In deciding the matter, the court sentenced the man with a penalty ten times higher than the maximum permitted by law after he pleaded guilty for being drunk in a public place. The justification given for the tougher sentence was linked to risks faced by persons with albinisms in Malawi, implying that the man had to be more cautious than other citizens. The submission falls within SALC’s efforts to advance the rights of people with albinism in the region. It is also part of SALC’s effort to support the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. Read more.