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].


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)

Childhood Trauma

Second Biennial International Childhood Trauma Conference


Location: Melbourne Convention Centre, South Wharf, Melbourne, Australia

Date: 6th – 10th June

Pre Conference Day: 5th June


First Conversation Title: Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin


Trauma and Disability 

Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) 13th Annual Hawai`i Summit 

Title: Assessing and Interviewing Traumatised Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. 


 Date: 29th March 2016


 Location: Hawai`i Convention Center




 Speakers: Steven Choy & Robert Geffner 


Understanding the earning and communication process 

1. Receptive function 

2. The ability to receive 

1. Receptive, perceptive and integrative functioning. 

2. Expressive functioning 

3. Perceptual learning problems ( Inadequate/damaged receptors) 

4. What is this sound? 

5. What do you see? 

6. Auditory perception is the ability  

7. Visual closure: inability to perceive 

8. The ability to get information and convert it to our own understanding. 

The Trauma of Sexual Assault

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 II: The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault

Speaker: Rebecca Campbell (PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Michigan State) University, East Lansing, MI)

Time: 10:45a.m — 12:00a.m


— What part of the brain is more hyper and less hyper?

What have we learned about the part of the brain, which reacts to trauma?

We need to provide care, emotional support for victims of sexual assault.

Provide informational support – give options/ and give victims time to make decisions. 

Connect victims to appropriate advocacy & support services to make specific referrals.

— Finally, we must learn to make referrals by name, by the real names of the expert & not by acronyms. 




Forced Migration and the Consequences of Terrorism on Children 

Conference: CSW60 14-24 March 2016

Parallel EVENT: Forced Migration, Human Trafficking and Child Armies:

How ISIL is Exploiting the Conflict in the Middle East

Date: 15/03/2016

Time: 12:30 — 14:00p.m


Recruiting children under 18 for armed groups. The violation of the abduction of children for criminal purposes.


 Some of Daesh’s crimes against children are,

1. Killing of children

2. Forceful recruitment of children

3. Rape and Abduction, and

4. Denial of humanitarian aid to children

 In Aleppo, there is the increase use of foreign children as fighters in the ISIL group in Syria, Systematic recruitment of Iraqi children as executional and suicide bombers and the recruitment of girls of sexual assault and other forms of atrocities. 

What is the future of children in some countries that ISIL controls
? Probably none. 


1. Respect for human rights to prevent extreme violence against children need to be taken into serious consideration.

2. Reintegration of children that were formally associated with ISIL.

3. Engagement with children that have been linked previously to ISIL.

4. Empower youth and promote human rights for all.

 Understand that nothing that Daesh do is Islamic.

Daesh does not emerge out of a vacuum. They, including Boko Haram, exist out of wrongful ideology to dehumanise others by promoting violence and continuum of aggression.

The scholarship of Islamic feminism covers all interpretation that see Islam as a source of hope and aims to prevent any counter- human rights. Women need to be supported to prevent violence extremisms and mothers are capable of stopping their children from radicalisation and extremism.


Migration is a natural phenomenon that is identified with humanity.

— Some people who do not wish to leave their countrified are forced to moved as result of war, trafficked and displaced from everything that they are attached to.

— Armed conflict is the major cause of forced migration.

— Gang action fuel forced migration

— Forced migration exposes children to sexual exploitation, pornography, pickpocketing, prostitution, etc.

— Forced migration put children in danger in the hands of law enforcement agencies as these children do not have legal papers

— Detention for children put several psychological effects

— Some are repatriated and later abandoned to their faith.

— 26000 child migrants have entered Europe earlier January 2016.

— About 5000 children disappeared from Germany’s asylum centres

— Forced migration is being overlooked and not taken seriously as there is unresponsive attitude from states.

— NGO Committee of Migration

— Root causes of codling situations that are leaving children vulnerable and being exploited by terrorists groups.

— Migrant children are often promised false hope and

— Held the government accountable.

— Under no condition should a child-migrant be detained.

— Recognition of the experiences of the child-migrants and prioritise their issues.

Organisers: Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council (GOAC), World Council of Churches, Lutheran Office for World Community.

Who has a right or not to plead self-defence? (2)

“If women were human…would we be beaten nearly to death, and to death, by men with whom we are close (Mackinnon, 2007, p.41)?

 Jacqueline and Bernadette received their judgment, in respective circumstances. The former got ten years’ imprisonment for killing her husband with three gunshots from the rear. And Bernadette received a five-year suspended sentence. This is where the accounts of these women became confused. We agreed they were victims. We agreed they killed their perpetrators in self-defence. Nevertheless, the French justice failed to see Jacqueline as indeed a battered woman. This is puzzling. What other evidences the judge needs to see Jacqueline Sauvage, as she should be? A victim. What worked in favour of Bernadette and not of Jacqueline? Who holds a right to plead self-defence and who has not?

Jacqueline Sauvage’s daughters and supporters, held a large public demonstration on 23 January (Le Monde.fr, 2016). Likewise, prominent French politicians joined in the signing of a petition that ask President François Hollande to grant her a presidential pardon. Luckily, he awarded her (Delacroix & Robin, 2016). Albeit that does not clear Sauvage of all accusations retained against her. She is still considered a murderer under the French law. Aside from that she cannot walk out immediately away from the prison based on the pardon. She will have to undergo a series of psychological and medical assays to confirm she is not a risk to the public. This calls for another question on what constitutes liberty. On 8 February, Jacqueline checked out of the prison, she was before. At present, she is at the National Evaluation Centre in Réau, Seine-et-Marne region (Schulz & T.M, 2016). She has already passed two years and four months in prison out of the ten years and will be in that centre until April.

Both women’s cases have created huge media attention and debates on soliciting self-defence. Even though they are the victims, battered women who kill their perpetrators have always struggled with the difficulties of falling within the scope of complete self-defence (Gausden, 2011, p.11). Sauvage’s condemnation falls into the category of what Teays (1998, p.64) denominates, imperfect self-defence. She states that, “A imperfect self-defence rests on an unreasonable belief in the imminence of a threat to life or great bodily harm, leading to the decision to defend oneself with lethal force.” The Court’s speculation falls in the line of argument the long-term effect of abuse that battered women experience in a continuous period will not cause them to act abruptly (Zaman, 2015, p.5). In other words, the courts rarely accept a defence of provocation from the victimised woman. For instance, in England and Wales a new partial defence of loss of control replaced the partial defence of provocation in the law of murder (McAviney, 2011, p.1).

There are two factors a person charged with murder has to meet when referring to provocation. Virgo (1999, p.7) explains below,

(To be continued in the Next post)


Works Cited

Delacroix, C., & Robin, C. (2016, February 6). Jacqueline Sauvage : la grâce enfin! Retrieved February 8, 2016, from ELLE: http://www.elle.fr/Societe/News/Jacqueline-Sauvage-la-grace-enfin-3031687

Gausden, A. C. (2011). Defences to Murder: A Woman-Centred Analysis . Durham University, Durham Law School. Durham: Durham E-Theses.

Le Monde.fr. (2016, January 23). Manifestation de soutien à Jacqueline Sauvage, en prison pour avoir tué son mari violent . Retrieved February 2, 2016, from Le Monde.fr: http://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2016/01/23/manifestation-de-soutien-a-jacqueline-sauvage-en-prison-pour-avoir-tue-son-mari-violent_4852487_1653578.html

Mackinnon, C. A. (2007). The Promise of CEDAW’s Optional Protocol. In C. A. Mackinnon, Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues (1st Edition ed., p. 65). Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

McAviney, V. (2011). Should Anger Mitigate Murder? An Examination of the Doctrine of Loss of Control. Durham University, Durham Law School. Durham: Durham E-Theses.

Schulz, N., & T.M. (2016, February 8). Jacqueline Sauvage quitte sa prison de Saran. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from Europe1: http://www.europe1.fr/faits-divers/jacqueline-sauvage-quitte-sa-prison-de-saran-2664555

Teays, W. (1998). Standards of Perfection and Battered Women’s Self-defense: Imperfect Self-defense. In Violence Against Women: Philosophical Perspectives (1st Edition ed., p. 64). Ithaca, USA: Cornell University Press .

Virgo, G. (1999, March). Defining Provocation. The Cambridge Law Journal , 58(1), 7.

Zaman, K. (2015). Is the defence of loss of control a ‘better’ defence for female victims of domestic abuse than provocation? . (S. Elfving, Ed.) Student Law Journal, 1(1), 5.