Social exclusion is an alien concept in Tanzania’s development discourse. This hasn’t stopped its manifestation upon a group of the population who have endured exceptionally extreme challenges. Albinism in Tanzania for most has been misconstrued as a condition of mythical origin leading to the separation of people with albinism (PWA) from society, exclusion from fundamental rights and sadly death by witchcraft. Always living at the edge of society, PWA have borne the brunt of social discrimination, marginalisation and human rights abuses. This study documents the situation of PWA in Tanzania. It assesses whether PWA enjoy the same rights as other citizens in Tanzania and whether there are mechanisms in place to ensure the realisation of those rights. The researcher explored the processes of social exclusion that PWA experience on a daily basis through interviewing PWA themselves; the role witchcraft plays in perpetuating the disadvantaging position of PWA and whether the judicial machinery is to their benefit or detriment. All of this supports an overall assessment of the question whether the state of Tanzania is living up to its human rights obligations vis-à-vis PWA. The research reveals that most PWA live in hardships and exclusion despite a series of human rights instruments that Tanzania has ratified but not all live this way, for those, the quest for justices continues. Some refuse to associate themselves with the ‘victimhood’ of having albinism and live their lives as ordinarily as possible.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Albinism, Disability, Human Rights, Social Exclusion, Tanzania
Thesis Advisor Arts, Karin
Persistent URL
Series Human Rights, Development and Social Justice (HDS)
Nzagi, Irene. (2009, January). Securing the Rights of People with Albinism in Tanzania Mainland: The Fight against Social Exclusion. Human Rights, Development and Social Justice (HDS). Retrieved from