UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by People with Albinism, Ms Ikponwosa Ero, has called for additional oversight of traditional healers, who use body parts in witchcraft rituals and medicines.
Ero alleged that there had been hundreds of attacks in the last six years on people with albinism, while presenting a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday.
Ero was the first Nigerian Independent Expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on the situation of people with albinism worldwide.
According to her, the demand for the body parts of people with albinism for the purposes of witchcraft rituals, or in traditional medicine known as muti or juju, has led to the existence of a clandestine market for body parts operating at regional, national and international levels.
“The issue is further complicated by the lack of effective oversight over the practice of traditional healers, the secrecy that often surrounds witchcraft rituals and the absence of clear national policies on the issue,” Ero said.
She called for a twin-track approach that would urgently address the trafficking of body parts from people with albinism, while also demystifying the misbeliefs about albinism.
At least 600 attacks and violations of rights of people with albinism have been reported in 27 countries, the majority in the past six years, according to information from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR.
Ero was designated in June 2015 as the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism by the Human Rights Council.
Inspired by her experiences as a person with albinism, Ero spent the last seven years working on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
As international advocacy and legal officer of ‘Under The Same Sun’, an NGO with a focus on albinism, she participated in multiple activities and panels at the UN in Geneva and New York.
She has extensive experience in research, policy development and advocacy in the field of albinism.
Ero is the author of numerous papers and articles on the issue, including the categorisation of persons with albinism in the international human rights system. NAN

READ ALSO  DISCOs not ready for business, says Edo Deputy Gov