Situation in Zambia
There are about 25,324 people with albinism in Zambia, according to the
country‟s last census, conducted in 2010.
Noting the efforts made by the Zambia government to promote the
welfare of PWA in the country including prohibiting racial discrimination
of persons as well as offenses causing bodily harm through.
The Constitution as well as Penal Code of Zambia; supporting the publishing
of a handbook called “Living with Albinism in Zambia: Information for
children and young people” which aims to teach children about
healthcare, sun damage and the differences between them and their
family and peers; Including PWA in the 2010 Census of Population and
Housing; Occasional purchase and free distribution of sunscreen lotions
to PWA; and hosting cancer clinics where PWA go for cancer treatment
and covering medical bills for some of them. However, there are a
number of issues that are yet to be adequately addressed.
Regarding CERD Article 5(b): The right to security of person and
protection by the state against violence or bodily harm
By October 2018, 13 reports of attacks against people with albinism have
been reported in Zambia. The latest Killing was reported in March 2020.
On February 12, 2011, a 10 year old girl with albinism by the name of
AB was brutally murdered for ritual purposes in Kanyama, Zambia. Her
mutilated body had been thrown away and was found several days after
the attack, wrapped in a sack with several body parts missing.
In March of 2017, a 16 year old boy with albinism narrowly escaped abduction and possible death near his home in Matero,
On November 4, 2017, a 19 -year- old woman with albinism by the
name of MK survived a brutal attack where her right hand was chopped
off by unknown assailants in Buyoyo Village, Chief Chikwa‟s chiefdom,
Chama District, Muchinga Province, Zambia. Police sources said that two
suspects are currently in custody while the other is on the run.
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, relatives of LK, a deceased person with
albinism, noticed that the grave in Mutuwambwa village, Western
Zambia, had been tampered with. Police found that the casket, together
with the body, was missing, and
On an unknown date between June 23 and October 30, 2018, the
grave of a woman with albinism by the name of JM was violated in the
Nyimba district within the Eastern Province of Zambia. Police officers
discovered a missing body in her coffin
The right to freedom of movement
and residence within the boarder of the state
Due to fear of being targeted in ritual attacks targeting them, PWA live in
fear and don‟t enjoy their freedom of movement. They have constant
fear of being attacked even with family members because most attacks
involve family or close friends. Some parents are even afraid to send their
children to school especially in rural areas where children have to walk
some distance to go to and from school.
During a radio awareness program in February 2018 a woman
approached the Albino Foundation of Zambia and shared her story about
an attempted attack on her 2 year old boy with albinism that forced her
to flee her home in the village to seek refuge in a police camp with her
son who consequently had to stop school. This is the situation for many
The right to marriage and choice of
Fear of attacks impedes Zambians with albinism from enjoying their
right to marry and choice of spouse. In 2012 a woman with albinism was
ritually murdered by her husband in the Sibuyunji district of the central
Province of Zambia20. In November 2017 another woman from Chama
district was attacked and her right hand chopped off where she identified
one of her assailants as a man who had previously proposed marriage to
her on several occasions21.
Regarding CERD Article 5(e)i: The right to work and free choice of
Some employers are reluctant to hire persons with albinism for reasons
related to their different appearance, especially in posts where the
employee is in contact with the public22. Direct sun exposure makes PWA
prone to visible skin anomalies that people often falsely regard as skin
diseases. Employers had the lowest proportion of the employed albino
population at 1.0 percent23.
Misconceptions about persons with albinism, notably that they are less
productive, carry curses or can infect others with their condition, may
deter employers from hiring them. It is even more difficult for persons
with albinism to find a decent job when they have not been given the
chance to complete higher education
Regarding CERD Article Article 5(e)(v); Right to Education and
In an action research study in Zambia (Miles, 2011), one teacher of a
boy with albinism expressed her fears of having „an albino‟ in her class „I
was not so free with him, I feared his hands, he had sores on them…my
belief was that whenever you see an albino you have to spit saliva on
your chest‟. Fear driven by superstitious beliefs has a negative impact on
the way PWA are treated in education in sub-Saharan countries. Scarcity
of correct information about the condition at community level inevitably
increases the probability of teachers drawing on local superstitions and
myths. Moreover, some parents are afraid to send their children to
school especially in rural places where children have to walk some
distance to go to and from school.