Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Life-Threatening Skin Condition

This article discusses how albinos in Africa often face the prospect of being murdered and cut to pieces by witch doctors, who think that albinos are imbued with special powers. This superstition has led to the death of hundreds of albinos throughout the continent. Two things I though interesting in this article: First, that Israel granted asylum on the basis of albinism, and secondly, that the non-albino parents were also granted asylum based solely on their child's risk of suffering violence. I'm unsure how US asylum law would apply to parents and children according if a similar situation occurred here.

I just thought it was an interesting situation and I am very glad that Israel did indeed grant this family asylum :)

4 comments:

Cosima said...

Great article Andrew B. I am appalled that people could ever think about cutting other people up due to an idea that a certain group of people possess special powers. Thankfully Israel is open to helping albinos and their families

arabianknight said...

This makes me go back to our readings in Germain where they talk about laws relating to witch craft. Whether we want to believe it or not, crazy things like this happen all the time. Especially in close nit societies where most elderly are uneducated.

Ross said...

You bring up very interesting points. I also wonder if the U.S. would consider these people's persecution based upon being in a particular social group; and thus grant them asylum. Even more interesting is that Israel granted these people asylum. I wonder how their immigration rules differ from ours.

Dr. D said...

Good question Ross -- the U.S government actually does. In fact, I worked on a case involving an albino from Cameroon a few years ago. The mother was actually able to win asylum to stay in the U.S. -- otherwise the child would have been in grave danger as outlined in the article.