Malawi: Albinism

Department for International Development written question – answered on 6th March 2017.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to the Government of Malawi on tackling albinism-related crimes in that country.

Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support the integration of people with albinism into Malawian society.

Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the capacity of the Malawian authorities to tackle albinism-related crimes in that country.

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

According to the UN, there have been 115 attacks, including 20 murders, against people with albinism in Malawi since 2014. The trend has been decreasing but we remain concerned.

Following the peak in attacks last year, the British High Commissioner to Malawi raised the UK’s concern with Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister.

The President of Malawi has taken a strong public stance against these attacks. The Police have made over 80 arrests and trials are underway, with harsher sentences now in place for those convicted. In May 2016, the president appointed a national technical committee to oversee the implementation of a National Response Plan to address the threat to people with albinism, but resourcing remains a challenge.

The UK has increased funding to tackle this issue in support of the Government’s plan. UK Aid supports organisations to protect people with albinism and support their integration into society; has developed a handbook that collates all information about albinism in one place that helps investigators, prosecutors and magistrates bring cases to court and supports district counselling services to survivors of violence and their families.

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