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Malawi: Albinism

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 65716, tabled on 27 February 2017

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.

Answered on

6 March 2017

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.