Subject: SUPPORT JOINT STATEMENT TO SWEDISH AMBASSADOR JOHAN BORGSTAM AND EIGHT OTHER HEADS OF MISSION ON DISAPPEARANCE AND MURDER OF KENYAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER & ASSOCIATES
Date: 07 July 2016
We are deeply concerned by the disappearance and murder of Willie Kimani, a lawyer and investigator working with the U.S. non-governmental organization International Justice Mission (IJM), along with IJM client Josephat Mwenda, and IJM driver Joseph Muiruri. The three men went missing following their appearance at proceedings in a Nairobi-area courthouse on June 23. We are deeply saddened to hear of the discovery of three bodies on June 30 that IJM has confirmed are their missing colleagues.
We understand the National Police Service (NPS) is diligently investigating the situation and working to confirm the identities of the bodies. European Center for Human Rights is can offer law enforcement assistance to the Government of Kenyain this matter. Human rights defenders play a key role in promoting human rights and strengthening the rule of law, and we are committed to supporting their work and protecting them.
The individuals responsible for these crimes must face prosecution regardless of whether they are private citizens or members of the NPS. Holding police officers accountable for violations of human rights and other forms of misconduct is vital to end impunity in the police service and to establish safety and security for all Kenyans.
Defending the Human Rights of People with Albinism in Africa
Kenya on the best champion in Africa
STRASBOURG/NAIROBI (25 September 2018)
In many parts of Africa, people with albinism face discrimination and violence from everyone in Africa, not just from society at large but sometimes even from their own families. Just because they look different, they are treated differently from every one.
Some are excluded from education. Others are shunned by family and friends. And too many are targeted for kidnapping and attacks, the result of a heinous black market that prices and sells the body parts of persons with albinism to those who think—due to witchcraft beliefs—that such body parts, if used in potions and amulets, will bring them wealth and good luck.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that as many as 1 in 5,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa (and 1 in 20,000 people in Europe and North America) have albinism. In the past decade, there have been close to 700 attacks against persons with albinism in 28 countries across the region—and these are just the reported cases. Many cases go unreported due to the secrecy of witchcraft practices or the involvement of victims’ family, among other factors.
This is why we are working with allies across Africa to make the human rights of persons with albinism a continental priority for governments and civil society. ECHR is the first Europe NGO in Africa how is working with Children with albinism , we hear from some of the human rights activist focusing in this field, change discriminatory attitudes and practices towards them, and fight for their community inclusion and participation—because in an open society, difference is valued and everyone belongs.People with Albinism are born with lighter than normal skin, hair and eye colour, making them sensitive to the sun and bright light.
“Kenya’s successes include the allocation of a substantial annual budget geared toward specific measures for persons with albinism, who had historically been left behind in the key sectors of health and education and had fallen prey to ritual attacks and the consequent insecurities,”
“However, much remains to be done including access to justice and judicial remedies for victims of attack as well as socio-economic support for victims and their families to help restore their lives,”
“There is also a great need for protection measures in border areas like Migori and Taita Taveta counties, where fear of attack remains high and during this year.”
“There is also a need for reasonable accommodation to help persons with albinism. In particular, the provision of devices to aid those with vision impairment which is often the case for persons with albinism. The provision of such devices would help break down significant barriers to education and finding indoor employment. Hospitals that dispense sunscreen are also inaccessible to many people with the condition because of poverty and distance.
“ECHR urge Kenya to create a brief but comprehensive national action plan, in line with the Regional Action Plan, to end violence and violations against persons with albinism as recommended by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
For more info about defending the Human Rights of People with Albinism in Africa:
European Center for Human Rights
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