How did we get here? Reflections on the UDHR and South Africans with albinism

Authors Bright Nkrumah

ISSN: 1996-2118 Affiliations: BA(Hons) Ghana, Mphil Dphil (Pret), Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal. Source: South African Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 32 Issue 2, p. 181 – 201


In recent times, South Africa continues to witness persecution and targeted attacks on persons living with albinism. Although this group is protected under (inter)national laws, they continue to be the main casualties of ritual killings. The year 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This instrument sets out overarching provisions for the protection of women, children and men with this condition from all forms of abuse. From a (quasi)normative perspective, it is undeniable that the UDHR has had and continues to have a great impact on South Africans with albinism (SAwA). It is, however, evident that SAwA are yet to enjoy the benefits of the UDHR since their persecution remains. Through a comparative analysis, the paper recommends that the state should adopt a proactive step to forestall violent attacks against SAwA.