Malawi albinos running for their lives find a safe haven in Canada

An albino girl from Malingunde Village attending school at the Special Needs Education Resource Centre. Photo: Mark Wessels/National Geographic
An albino girl from Malingunde Village attending school at the Special Needs Education Resource Centre. Photo: Mark Wessels/National Geographic
An albino girl from Malingunde Village attending school at the Special Needs Education Resource Centre. Photo: Mark Wessels/National Geographic

The United Nations has relocated at least six Malawian families with albinos to Canada since last year June, according to a report by VOA.

U.N. officials are currently processing the resettlement of a seventh family taking part in the program due to continued threats to people living with Albinism in Malawi.

Due to lack of pigment in their skin, albinos are attacked in Malawi and other African countries because of a belief that parts of their bodies can bring good luck and wealth.

In Malawi, at least 20 people with albinism have been killed since 2014, more than 100 have been violated, with cases of abduction and cut body parts reported.

“We requested the Malawi government to expedite the refugee status determination procedure for those cases that were still asylum seekers due to their vulnerability,” said Sebastian Herwig, the associate resettlement officer for the UNHCR in Malawi.

United Nations has been screening eligible albino refugees and their families at the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi. The program is for refugees, though Malawians with albinism also remain under threat.

Malawian President Peter Mutharika vowed to stop the attacks on albinos following the murder of a two-year-old albino child in central Malawi last year.

“We have deployed the police in all areas where there are schools with people with albinism to protect them,” Government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said, adding “And also, we have taken an initiative that in villages where there are family or families of people with albinism, there is a constant surveillance.”