UN Expert To Assess Malawi On Albino Killings

United Nations (UN) Independent Expert, Ikponwosa Ero will for the first time visit Malawi to assess the human rights situation of people with albinism.

Ero is expected to conduct a monitoring visit from 18th to 29th April, 2016.

Her visit comes at a time Malawi has been grappling with brutal attacks on people with albinism whose body parts are believed by some quarters to possess magical powers to make one rich or bring about good luck.

This will be the first country visit 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.

Nigeria Miss Ero told the local media through telephone that while in the country she will evaluate the situation of human rights of persons with albinism and make concrete recommendations, and identify good practices to promote regionally.

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 districts.

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 organizations of persons with albinism, and members of the diplomatic community.

“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,” Ero said.

Ikponwosa Ero (Nigeria) was designated in June 2015 as the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism by the Human Rights Council.

Inspired by her experiences as a person with albinism, Ero spent the last seven years working on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. As international advocacy and legal officer of Under The Same Sun, an NGO with a focus on albinism, she participated in multiple activities and panels at the UN in Geneva and New York.

She has extensive experience in research, policy development and advocacy in the field of albinism. She is the author of numerous papers and articles on the issue, including with regards to the categorization of persons with albinism in the international human rights system.

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