United Nations (UN) Independent Expert, Ikponwosa Ero will carry out a monitoring visit in the country from 18 to 29 April 2016 to assess the human rights situation of people with albinism.
Malawi will be the first country to be visited ever by the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism since the Human Rights Council established the mandate in March 2015.
“The visit comes at a key time when attacks of persons with albinism and the sale of their body parts are frequently reported from the country,” reads part of the statement.
“I look forward to this first official mission to evaluate the situation of human rights of persons with albinism in Malawi, make concrete recommendations, and identify good practices to promote regionally,” said Ero.
She stressed that attacks of persons with albinism and the sale of their body parts will be one of the main focuses of her visit.
Ero added that she cannot separate these crimes from other relevant and contributing human rights issues faced by this group in the spheres of health, disability, education, harmful traditional practices, among others.
“I also give particular importance to meeting with persons with albinism as well as families affected by violations of the human rights of persons with albinism,” she explained.
According to the press release, the Independent Expert is tasked to report on developments and obstacles to enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism; identify and promote good practices; and combat stereotypes, prejudices, harmful traditional practices and beliefs that hinder the enjoyment of their human rights.
During her two-week visit, the human rights expert will travel to Lilongwe, Machinga, Zomba, Phalombe and Kasungu.
She will meet with representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, local and territorial authorities, the Malawi Human Rights Commission, civil society groups, including organisations of persons with albinism, and members of the diplomatic community.