The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has oriented members of community protection structures across 10 districts on protection of persons with albinism, persons accused of witchcraft (especially the elderly) and sexual and gender minorities.Over 200 representatives from various community structures including Community Policing Forums, Child Protection Workers, Area Development Committees, Village Development Committees, Village and Civil Protection Committees and traditional leaders, participated in the orientation sessions.The orientation sessions, which were held at Traditional Authority level in each of the 10 districts where CHRR is implementing its ‘Scaling Up Minority Rights’ project, were organized against the background of continued human rights violations on the basis of albinism, witchcraft accusations and sexual and or gender identity.
Since November 2014, an unprecedented wave of killings and other human rights abuses including abductions and robberies against people with albinism has swept through Malawi, with over 25 being killed and many others reported missing in various parts of the country.Similar attacks have occurred in neighbouring Mozambique and Tanzania. People are targeted for their body parts in the belief that they contain magical powers.The country has also witnessed a corresponding rise in killings and other human rights violations on the basis of witchcraft accusations. In 2018 alone, over 10 suspected sorcerers (mostly the elderly) were killed through mob violence.The orientation focused on the laws of Malawi in relation to the three vulnerable groups; human rights; roles and responsibilities of community protection structures and best practices in protecting the rights of vulnerable groups.
CHRR is implementing the Scaling Up Minority Rights project in partnership with the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) with financial support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The project is being implemented in 10 districts, namely Chikwawa, Blantyre, Mulanje, Mangochi, Machinga, Dedza, Salima, Nkhatabay, Karonga and Chitipa.