While the plight of people born with albinism, especially youth, has received attention in countries such as Tanzania, the discrimination, trafficking and incomprehensible violence against those with the genetic condition knows no borders. Albino children, who are seen more as valuable commodities than human beings, suffer barbaric practices such as bloodletting, dismemberment, abuse, rape, discrimination and death. Often lacking national policies against the practices of witchcraft, the situation is rife with human rights violations that continue without accountability.
Last year in Kabale, a town in Western Uganda, I met Michael Sabiiti who, with the support of the North Carolina-based NGO Humanity Healing, has been rescuing local albino children from witchdoctors and human traffickers. Though many of these children are receiving support for the first time ever in their lives, there are still many challenges to their safety and transition back into the community. The experiences of these youth reveal the cultural stigma that often results in abhorrent abuses and how disability can be a social construct.