African rights advocates to meet in Dar es Salaam over Albino plight

Adam Robert,12, a boy with albinism, was attacked in the Geita Region of Tanzania by a man wielding a machete.Photo Credit/Universal Initiative Foundation

Adam Robert,12, a boy with albinism, was attacked in the Geita Region of Tanzania by a man wielding a machete.Photo Credit/Universal Initiative Foundation

Human Rights activists from across Africa are due to meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the first Pan – African Albinism Conference (PAAC) that aims to raise awareness around the challenges faced by the Albino population.

The advocates and experts are seeking to devise ways to create learning and employment opportunities, and to empower People with Albinism (PWA) in Africa through networking.

The high profile conference is set to open Thursday at Mwalimu Nyerere Convention Centre, and will be attended by more than 200 participants from 29 African countries and 9 non-African countries in North America, Europe, Scandinavia and Asia

Peter Ash, founder and CEO of Under The Same Sun, the organisers of the event  said in a press statement Sunday that “PAAC is designed to equip defenders of the human rights of persons with albinism (PWA) with the necessary tools for preventing attacks, ensuring prosecution of perpetrators of attacks, monitoring the overall human rights situation of PWA including how to make credible reports, and properly advocate before their government for better responses to their plight.”

The NGO hopes the gathering prompt action across continent of Africa through which concrete results will lead to practical changes in the lives of persons with albinism.

All PAAC attendees with albinism will benefit from free skin cancer screening and will be provided with sunscreen lotion; low vision examination and will be given vision-enhancing spectacles, low vision devises and sunglasses.

For more than a decade there have been hundreds of PWA attacks and killings reported in 25 different African countries including Tanzania.

Many victims and their families are still awaiting justice as majority of the cases do not reach the courts of law.  The Albino population still battle with stigma and discrimination on a daily basis.