OHCHR / ALBINISM

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03-Mar-2017 00:02:57
In a report to the Human Rights Council, the UN independent expert on the rights of people with albinism Ikponwosa Ero said the states need to institute laws that deal with trafficking of body parts of people with albinism. OHCHR

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STORY: OHCHR /ALBINISM
TRT: 2:57
SOURCE: OHCHR
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE

DATELINE: 2 MARCH 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Aerial shot, UN Headquarters in Geneva
2. Zoom out, Ero walking by
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ikponwosa Ero, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism:
“One of the key recommendations that I am highlighting in my report is the need for States who are affected by this issue to consider clarifying ambiguities in law, what is witchcraft and what is traditional medicine. Countries I visited last year including Malawi and Mozambique they actually acknowledged, many stakeholders, acknowledged that they did not know what the difference was between witchcraft and traditional medicine.”
4. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ikponwosa Ero, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism:
“The second thing that I recommended was having a mechanism that monitors these practitioners. It could be either be self-regulating mechanisms such as having a law society among lawyers or it could be a government monitored regulating mechanism. I recommend, however, the government monitored mechanisms because it is stronger, its external and the accountability is likely stronger.”
6. Med shot, Human Rights Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ikponwosa Ero, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism:
“I recommend that States find ways of dealing in trafficking in body parts. Right now most international or national laws deal with body parts that are organs and or whole persons. Even the International protocol to suppress trafficking in persons is geared towards organs and people. Whereas body parts, when it comes to people with albinism are usually not organs they are limbs, they are hair, there are fingers. So, to try to find to close that gap in law so that prosecutions can lead to an adequate sentence that can also allow for deterrence from such crimes.”
8. Pan right, Human Rights Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ikponwosa Ero, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism:
”It is really rather challenging to criminalize witchcraft practice, why? Because of the issue of evidence. How do you prove somebody is a witch? Or how do you prove that someone has done something as a result of witchcraft. Witchcraft according to some experts is something that involves some super natural element. Something none tangible. How then do you prove that in court? So if you criminalize the practice of witchcraft there is a danger of admitting evidence that are not really concrete or provable so that the danger then becomes a new set of victims who are accused of witchcraft. Rather we probably can deal with issue by having an open registry of people who want to practice witchcraft and an open registry of people who want to practice traditional medicine with oversight, oversight mechanisms. So that they like other professions such as physicians who give public service can then be monitored, they would be licensed and these licenses can be revoked.”
10. Zoom out, Ero waks by

STORYLINE:

In a report to the Human Rights Council, the UN independent expert on the rights of people with albinism Ikponwosa Ero said the states need to institute laws that deal with trafficking of body parts of people with albinism.

Ero raised concern that there was legal vacuum when it came to trafficking of body parts both in international and national law.

In an interview in Geneva on Thursday (2 Mar), she said “I recommend that states find ways of dealing in trafficking in body parts. Right now most international law or national laws deal with body parts that are organs and or whole persons. Even the International protocol to suppress trafficking in persons is geared towards organs and people. Whereas body parts, when it comes to people with albinism are usually not organs they are limbs, they are hair, there are fingers. So, to try and close that gap in law so that prosecutions can lead to an adequate sentence that can also allow for deterrence from such crimes.”

In her report which also focuses on attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism as well witchcraft.

In the meantime, she advises against criminalizing witchcraft saying it could create new victims of the human rights violations meted on people living with albinism. She instead calls for regulations to be instituted for practitioners.

The Independent expert said ” It is really rather challenging to criminalize witchcraft practice, why? Because of the issue of evidence. How do you prove somebody is a witch? Or how do you prove that someone has done something as a result of witchcraft. Witchcraft according to some experts is something that involves some super natural element. Something none- tangible. How then do you prove that in court? So if you criminalize the practice of witchcraft there is a danger of admitting evidence that are not really concrete or provable so that the danger then becomes a new set of victims who are accused of witchcraft. Rather we probably can deal with issue by having an open registry of people who want to practice witchcraft and an open registry of people who want to practice traditional medicine with oversight, oversight mechanisms. So that they like other professions such as physicians who give public service can then be monitored, they would be licensed and these licenses can be revoked.”

The Independent expert also called for clear legal definition of witchcraft versus traditional medicine. She also proposed for States to introduce self-regulating mechanism or an oversight government body for the practitioners.
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