Witchcraft-related attacks on people with albinism are big news in Tanzania, and have been for some years. Back in 2008, Vicky Ntetema, then working for the BBC, first went undercover to investigate, and then into hiding after receiving threats.
Vicky is now the Executive Director for Tanzania of Under the Same Sun, campaigning for the rights of people with albinism. They recently published a report on the number of reported attacks on people with albinism across Africa.
Below, I have turned the data from their report into a map and two charts:
1. It’s not just a Tanzanian issue. This data shows attacks on people with albinism in 23 different countries – most of sub-Saharan Africa.
2. It is mostly a Tanzanian issue. Almost half (48%) of the reported attacks were in Tanzania, and over half (56%) of the reported killings.
And finally, a couple of notes on the data. First, it is not comprehensive. UTSS explain that the numbers given here are for “reported attacks”, and that many attacks are never reported. The actual number of attacks will certainly be higher, and probably a lot higher. And second, the data may be biased. UTSS has a much bigger presence in Tanzania than elsewhere in Africa, so may have focussed more on collecting reports there than elsewhere. (In fairness, it was not collected with the kind of cross-country comparisons that I have done here in mind.) For both these reasons, the data should be treated with caution.
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