What It Takes To Be An Albino

Albinism is a rare, genetically inherited variance present at birth[i]. It is not infectious or contagious. Inside the African societies, people with albinism look distinctly different from others as they do not have black skin[ii].  People with albinism are considered as people with disabilities. They require continuous special skin care, especially in maintaining their white skin. In Tanzania, only 2 percent of them pass the age of 40, and less than 10 percent survives the age of 30 as they die prematurely of skin cancer due to lack of melanin[iii].

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Albinos are everywhere in Africa, but they are rife in East Africa. Tanzania and Malawi have the heaviest population of people with albinism in the world. In Tanzania alone, there are approximately 170, 000 albinos, making it the country with the highest rate of these masses[iv].

Notwithstanding, there are misconceptions and conjectural myths about Albinism[v]. Most consider the albinos as ghosts. As a consequence, people with albinism are stigmatised. To be an albino means to be an outcast.  They are facing severe persecution such as discrimination, abduction, ritual abuse, mutilation, bullying[vi], and barbaric killing. Perpetrators are, for the most part, close relatives, acquaintances, and neighbours.  Ignorance and lack of educational awareness drive many to speculate that people with albinism have magical abilities. Due to endless bullying or fear of being abducted to ritual killings, some children with albinism are forced to stay away from schools and playgrounds[vii].  Most Albinos murdered were for money-scheme ritual process as there are beliefs that their body parts can usher in money, employment success, and stroke of luck[viii]. In Malawi, even after they have been laid to rest, there have been 39 reported instances of ritual killers exhuming and kidnapping the albinos’ corpses, and some arrested in possession of albinos’ bones[ix]. Some of them have had their limbs cut off for witchcraft rituals. Women and children with albinism are the most vulnerable. The adult females are cited as Machilisto[x], which means ‘cure’ in Malawian. Female albinos are being raped because of the theory that anyone infected with HIV/AIDS who have sex with them will be cured[xi][xii].

Since 2000 to date, 448 assaults on albinos have been reported in 25 African nations[xiii]. Last year, the Tanzanian police cracked down on 32 witch-doctors who were found guilty of killing almost 75 albinos for ritual[xiv]. In 2010, around 10 people were condemned to death for murdering people with albinism[xv].

Nevertheless, the persecution of albinos continues. Many of them, particularly the Malawians and Tanzanians albinos at this moment in time live in perpetual fear of terror. Some lucky ones have succeeded in fleeing their countries to seek asylum elsewhere. Under the Same Sun[xvi], is one of the NGOs helping Tanzania people with albinism.

Sadly, their governments fail to protect them[xvii]. Most shockingly, many high-level African politicians are now being accused and suspected of killing albinos for ritual in order to win their elections[xviii].  Whitney Chilumpha, a toddler with albinism was abducted at night while sleeping with her mother and dismembered[xix]. A few days ago, local residents found a bag containing the torso of a six-year-old albino boy, known as Faztudo Filipe, in the Mudzingandze province of Maputo, Mozambique[xx]. The assailants had gone off with his arms, legs and other parts of his body.

The problem is not just the focus on the failure of the concerned governing bodies to guarantee adequate security for these people. One ought not to forget that this issue has a cultural base. The discourse of superstitious regarding albinism is embedded in the African culture, and the general mentality of the people is well-grounded on the subject. If one cannot get through to the grassroots to convince the people that discrimination of the albino is a criminal offense against humanity; there is virtually little that can be done at the national level. The people’s frame of mind has to shift. Albinos are human beings, and not ghosts. Hence, they deserve the right to life. #StopkillingAlbinos

[i] (de Chazournes, 2014)

[ii] (Lund, et al., 2015)

[iii] (Global Disability Watch , 2016)

[iv] (United Nations, 2009)

[v] (Office Of The High Commissoner Human Rights, s.d.)

[vi] (Lund, et al., 2015)

[vii] (Brune-Lockhart, et al., 2013; 2014)

[viii] (Akbar, 2016)

[ix] (Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2016)

[x] (Moreno, 2016)

[xi] (Amnesty International, 2016)

[xii] (Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2016)

[xiii] (Global Disability Watch , 2016)

[xiv] (Reuters in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 2015)

[xv] (Brune-Lockhart, et al., 2013; 2014)

[xvi] (Under The Same Sun, s.d.)

[xvii] (Amnesty International, 2016)

[xviii] (Ghanaweb, 2016)

[xix] (Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2016)

[xx] (Allafrica, 2016)

The Dark Faces Of Child Labour 

Child labour is child abuse. It is modern-day slavery and a violation of the rights of the child. Article 6b of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) demands that governments ensure continuous growth of the child, while Article 19a calls on State parties to implement protective measures for the child from all forms of abuse. In spite of this convention, many regimes have failed to provide lifelong security and protection to the children. It seems that most children, safeguarding policies just ended up locked in office desks, and nobody worries. 


Child labour has many dark, disgusting faces. It includes sexual exploitation of minors, such as child prostitution, Internet pornography, and holiday sex-trade to for western men. Some parents, particularly mothers, are offering their little daughters for sex in exchange for money and material gifts. The other kinds of child labour are; forced physical unpaid jobs, forced conscription as child soldiers, drug & animal trafficking, forced pick-pocketing & petit thefts. Certain kids are pulled out of schools to stay home as nannies to look after their younger siblings simply because their parents cannot afford to pay for babysitters. At present, other children are serving as permanent long-term house-helps in many African and Asian states. The majority of them face severe exploitation as their employers do not pay them the agreed wages. They are crushed, mutilated, assault, sexual by their employers or employers’ children and sometimes some are killed.  

In many regions around the world, children who are street-hawking are not seen as experiencing abuse. Although, some of these youngsters are placed under duress to hawk, some are not. And the latter fall in the category of these children who are from impoverished societies, and they are obliged to work to sustain their family. 

Lack of proper education is one major characteristic of child labour. But how does one anticipate a poor family, with barely one-dollar per day to survive, to have the monetary means to send their children to school? 

Child labour has no particular target. Every child is apt to experience one form of child labour. Yet, many unaccompanied migrants-children have and are still falling prey to forced labours. The vulnerability of orphans female children remains undisputed, especially to forced child-sex works. 

It is quite difficult to pinpoint child labour to a particular type abuse against children. It is vast. The reality is, there are other types of child labour yet to be identified.

Childhood Trauma

Second Biennial International Childhood Trauma Conference
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Location: Melbourne Convention Centre, South Wharf, Melbourne, Australia
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Date: 6th – 10th June

Pre Conference Day: 5th June

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First Conversation Title: Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin

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Economic Abuse: The Major Factor For Violence Against Women 

Conference: 2016 International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Engaging Men and Boys 
Location: Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue., NW. Washington, DC 20009
Breakout Session Title: The Economic Abuse: Recognising and Addressing A Barrier To Safety and Recovery
        
 Date: 22nd March 2016

Time: 3:00p.m —4:30p.m 
Economic factors are the largest predictor of whether a survivor stays, leaves it goes back to an abuser. 

    
  WHAT IS ECONOMIC ABUSE? 

  1. Economic Sabotage 
  2. Economic Control 
  3. Economic Exploitation 

  ECONOMIC ASPECT OF ABUSE

  • Economic Impact by Victimisation 

ECONOMIC ABUSE AND ECONOMIC CRIMES 

  • Coerced crimes & criminal records 

    

IMPACT ON JUSTICE SYSTEM PARTICIPATION

  1. Access to child care
  2. Ability to take time off work
  3. Economic-based witness intimidation 
  4. Fear of personal justice system involvement. 

   

   IDENTIFYING ECONOMIC ABUSE

  1. SCALE of Economic Abuse (SEA —12)  
  2. CSAJ’s Consumer Rights Screening Tool. (https://www.csaj.org:document-library/consumerrightsscreeningtool-9-11.pdf)
  3. NNEDX/Allstate’s Moving Ahead

  

   CONSIDERATIONS WHEN SCREENING 

  1. Facilitation: who and where should do the screening. 
  2. Implementation: What question to ask and in what format? 

  

CONSUMER RIGHTS REMEDIES

  1. Actions to repair damaged credit or remove the survivor’s name from debt. 
  2. Prohibiting foreclosed & eviction actions against survivors.  

   

 PUBLIC ASSISTANCE/BENEFITS 

  1. Temporary Assistance for needy families. 
  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 
  3. Housing Choice Voucher Program. 
  4. Social Security. 
  5. Childcare Subsidies Program. 

  

Taking Stalking Seriously

Conference: 2016 Intenational Conference on Sexua Assault, Domestic Violence, and Engaging Men & Boys

Date: 22nd — 24th March 2016

Location: International Ballroom Center, Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Avenue. NW. Washington, DC. 

Topic: Plenary I: It’s No Joke: The Cultural Acceptability of Stalking

Speaker: Jeffrey Bucholtz (MA, Director, We End Violence, San Diego, CA.)

Time: 9:15a.m — 10:15a.m

When do we take stalking as a serious crime? When the victim is killed? Stalking is a complete nightmare. At the onstage, the victim is unable to detect the gravity of the issue until she starts noticing radical changes in her life. She knew she was in danger from the time she begins to modify her movement, watches her back continually, and suffers sleep deprivation.

 

 

 

Societal Depreciation of Women with Disabilities

Conference CSW60 14-24 UN Headquarters, New York

Parallel Event: Sustainable Development Goals or Sidelining Disabled Girls:? Making The SDGs Stand For All Women and Girls 

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Time: 14:30p.m — 16:00p.m

Date: 17/03/2016

Location: CCUN Boss 8th Floor, New York

Organisers: Women Enabled International, Sisters of Frida, Women with Disabilities India Network.

  1. Disabled rural women are less privileged than the urban disabled women.
  2. Disabled women
  3. It seems contradictory for disabled women to push for rights to the health facilities
  4. Many believe that people with disabilities cannot make concrete decision about themselves, which is incorrect.
  1. Disabled women have tough times accessing legal justice
  2. Rape against disabled women is decriminalised.
  1. Law enforcement agencies in the UK don’t believe disabled women when they report rape or sexual assaults.
  2. 505 disabled women were sterilised in Columbia
  3. Sterilisable of disabled women started with the consent of their legal guidances.
  1. A national survey of demographic and health that help to gain sexual reproductive health care and services for women with disabilities.
  2. Data gathering of information on disabled women in Columbia.

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Mental Health Issues among Women 

Conference CSW60 14-24 UN Headquarters New York 
Parallel Event: The Importance of Women’s Mental Health in Sustainable Development 

  

 Time: 12:30p.m – 2:00p.m 
Date: 16/03/2016
Location: Thai Cultural Center, York 

          

Organisers: World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) 

      
You have to create a solidarity group where women can come together to recognise their worth and find solace. 

                  
Some of the leading causes of mental health issues are,
1. Borderline personality

2. Anxiety disorder 

3. Lack of confidence and self esteem 

4. Having no sense of self worth 

5. Having low level jobs

   
    
    
   

— It is important that community based programme recognise women’s state of health and take into account appropriate measures. 

     

To understand mental health, you need to go to the people. You cannot achieve better results in sustainable development if you don’t go directly to the people .

    

We need to have the universal principles of human rights. 
Mental health was not included in the MDGs. Focus was on Peace and Security. However, it is not included in the SDGs. 

But conflicts and others issues are the causes of disturbing mental issues affecting women.  

  
Mental health should be part and parcel of advocacy against violence against women. 

Expenditures on mental health in some countries is below 1 percent. 
Women’s issues are largely ignored by the justice system. 

   
    
    
   

WOMEN OFFENDERS IN AUSTRALIA AND UNITED KINGDOM 

1. Incarceration caused significant financial cost.

2. Women are often economic disadvantaged and unable to pay for judicial fines. 

3. 18% of women offenders in the UK suffer from mental health issues.

4. In prison, Women have higher rate of substance uses, which they are addicted to to cope with several mental issues and breakdown. 

5. During incarceration, alternative cares need to be provided for the children of women incarcerated. 

6. Female offenders are often at high needs instead of high risks. 

7. Most of the problems of the female offenders lie not within the four walls of the prisons but in the society. Their problems starts from the pubic and mostly that’s where we ought to address. 

8. Once out of prison, female offenders often lack access to mental health treatment, education, high level of support, reunion with family members, reintegration into the society and employment and medical opportunities.