BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Malawi leader Arthur Peter Mutharika will tomorrow, Monday June 13, 2016 attend commemorations marking this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day in Kasungu district, State House has confirmed.
In a press statement signed by Mutharika’s Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani, the President is expected to arrive at Kasungu Community Ground, venue of the event at 10:30 in the morning.
The statement further informs all government officials and invited dignitaries to be seated by 10 O’clock.
This year’s Global theme for the commemorations is; Celebrate Diversity, Promote Inclusiveness and Protect Rights of People with Albinism.
Here in Malawi the event will be marked under the theme; Together We Must End Human Rights Violations Against People with Albinism.
Speaking in Lilongwe at a press briefing on the same few days ago, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr. Jean Kalilani said this year’s commemoration is meant to appeal to the general public to engage in constructive discussions in finding lasting solutions that would promote and protect persons with albinism, who are being increasingly discriminated by the day.
She said the commemoration is also meant to appeal to the general public to uphold the rights of persons with albinism and commence the implementation of the solutions that would uphold their rights.
“We have lived with persons with albinism in Malawi since time immemorial, they have always been a part of the Malawian society, but it is sad to note that myths and misconceptions about their condition have resulted into their discrimination and exclusion from our society.
“The country has been beset by a steady increase of physical abuse, abductions, killings and lately, exhumation of the remains of persons with albinism in a number of districts. This is a very sad situation, which has even limited the participation and contribution of persons with albinism to national development, even to their own right to enjoy life,” said Kalilani.
She further said the 2016 International Albinism Awareness Day hopes to lobby for funding for the implementation of recommendations towards addressing the current challenge and to recognize different efforts and contributions from various sectors; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Government towards addressing the abductions, killings and exhumations of the remains of persons with albinism.
The minister explained that government would like to assure Malawians and the world at large that it has taken measures to address the atrocities committed against persons with albinism.
“My Ministry in conjunction with different stakeholders have developed a response plan to address the atrocities which identified six intervention areas, these are undertaking of education, awareness raising and training activities and strengthening of internal security.
“The undertaking of an investigative research including human rights monitoring and reporting activities, promotion of fair administration of justice and victim assistance and the empowerment of persons with albinism through Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM),” said Kalilani.
The General Assembly of the United Nations with effect from 2015 proclaimed and adopted 13th June and as “International Albinism Awareness Day”. This decision was reached on 19 November 2014.
The decision was taken following the recommendation by the Human Rights Council in its Resolution that the General Assembly proclaim 13 June “International Albinism Awareness Day”. It was on this day in 2013 that the UN adopted its first ever resolution on albinism.