n African Human Rights Law Journal - Human rights violations of persons with albinism in Tanzania : the case of children in temporary holding shelters

Volume 19 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Albinism is a genetic condition that occurs in people of all races and in all parts of the world. In Tanzania, and in many other places where it occurs, children living with albinism constantly are subjected to discrimination, stigmatisation, persecution and ridicule. However, the most disturbing phenomenon is the mindless killing of these children. The threat of being murdered forces some of these children to flee from their homes and communities. In an attempt to address the situation and to protect these children, the Tanzanian government has established temporary holding shelters. This article explores the challenges faced by children at these temporary holding shelters and the extent to which their rights are violated. Despite Tanzania’s ratification of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which compels it to prevent violence against children and to uphold the right of all children to human dignity and physical integrity, human rights violations against these children abound. It is evident that the Tanzanian government’s commitment to protect all children, as required by the Law of the Child Act, is lacking in implementation and effectiveness. The article utilises secondary data obtained through a review of relevant documents. The findings point to a lack of security, care and protection of the children in temporary holding shelters. It is concluded that the Tanzanian government needs to take effective and sustainable steps towards the elimination of all forms of violence against children, generally, and against children with albinism, in particular. The government also is urged to improve the conditions in these shelters in order to uphold the rights of the children residing there as provided for under international as well as domestic law.

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