The Impact of Myths, Superstition and Harmful Cultural Beliefs against Albinism in Tanzania: A Human Rights Perspective

Keywords: Myths, superstition, harmful cultural beliefs, albinism, human rights, Tanzania


It cannot be denied that myths and superstitions have endured through history and that people have been affected by them since the beginning of time. Superstitious beliefs and myths that result in the victimization of persons with albinism (PWA) are centuries old, are present in cultural attitudes and practised around the world. In Africa and in Tanzania in particular, PWAs have also been targeted because of harmful speculation and unfounded myths which place their lives at risk. As members of society PWA have human rights that need to be protected against any kind of violation, particularly against being killed, tortured and discriminated against. This article analyses various legal provisions that protect the rights of PWA as articulated in various UN covenants and conventions as well as regional treaties and national laws.

Secondary data are consulted to examine the extent of the erroneous beliefs which heavily fuel the persecution and killing of PWA. It is found that there are deep-seated myths, superstitions and harmful cultural beliefs the existence of which seems to pose a serious obstacle to the implementation of the law and the protection of the rights of PWA in Tanzania. The article recommends awareness-raising and education in general for Tanzanian society as an approach towards the protection of PWA.





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How to Cite
InesK., & IsaackN. (2020). The Impact of Myths, Superstition and Harmful Cultural Beliefs against Albinism in Tanzania: A Human Rights Perspective. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 23, 1-27.
Special Edition: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70